Trial begins for fired Columbia police officer

The case of Rob Sanders is best known for a surveillance video released by the Columbia Police Department that went viral on the internet. (Photo courtesy of Columbia Police Department)

A trial began Wednesday for a fired Columbia police officer who wanted his job back.

Rob Sanders was fired for excessive force in September 2011. A video that went viral on the internet showed Sanders pushing jail inmate Kenneth Baker into a wall and fracturing his back.

Sanders sat quietly in the courtroom as attorneys for the City of Columbia showed the 2011 video to Lafayette County Judge Dennis Rolf.

Everyone in the courtroom relived the moment when Sanders used two hands to shove Baker into a cell wall, as depicted in the video.

Internal affairs cleared Sanders of any wrongdoing.

Sanders had been in and out of court fighting for his reinstatement ever since then.

City attorneys said Sanders did not deserve his job back or any back pay.

The trial is expected to last until Friday.

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