A man allegedly attacked by a former Columbia police officer testified in court today.
Rob Sanders is on trial for third degree assault after he allegedly pushed inmate Ken Baker into a cell wall in August 2011.
The case of Rob Sanders is best known for a surveillance video released by the Columbia Police Department that went viral on the internet. The video shows sanders pushing inmate ken baker into a cell and breaking his back.
After several delays, Sanders trial is underway. Sanders faces a third-degree assault charge for using excessive force. Sanders has a bench trial which means there is only a judge and no jury. Alleged victim ken baker told the judge he couldnâ??t identify sanders at the time of the incident because his eyes were full of pepper spray. He did remember making contact with an officer.
Baker said, â??I just remember hitting the wall, sliding off the wall and landing on the floor. It felt like I was hit by a dump truck to tell you the truth. I couldnâ??t see him coming. I couldnâ??t see anything.â??
Baker broke his back and got a settlement of $250,000 from the City of Columbia. Police Chief Ken Burton fired Sanders for using excessive force and violating police policy.
Sanders has not testified. He was a police officer for 18 years.
The Sanders trial resumes tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. at the Boone County Courthouse.