Lawrence police officer who shot motorist with gun instead of Taser faces judge
photo by: Sara Shepherd
Brindley D. Blood made her first appearance as a criminal defendant before a Douglas County District Court judge on Thursday.
Blood, a Lawrence police officer, is charged with aggravated battery for allegedly using a gun to “recklessly cause bodily harm” to a man who was physically fighting with another officer after being pulled over May 29 near Sixth and Vermont streets. The charge is a felony.
Blood told investigators after the incident that she meant to deploy her Taser — and even announced “Taser-Taser-Taser” before firing. Afterward, investigators said, she realized that she’d mistakenly shot the man with her gun.
The Douglas County District Attorney’s Office charged Blood on Aug. 23.
Blood has not been arrested, but on Thursday Judge James George ordered her to book into the jail by Saturday. George gave her a $5,000 own-recognizance bond, so she’ll be released right away without paying but will agree to appear at her next scheduled court date, Oct. 30.
While out on bond, Blood may not speak to the victim or other witnesses, George said. As for contact with other law enforcement officers, Blood may speak to them but isn’t allowed to discuss this case except for purposes of any internal investigation.
Blood is a rookie officer, having completed the police academy just six months before the shooting.
She remains on paid administrative leave, and the police department’s internal review of the incident is ongoing, the department said this week.
Blood appeared in court with two attorneys, Michael Riling and Tom Bath, as well as several supporters.
Bath told a reporter after the hearing that neither he nor Blood would comment further on the case.
The man who was shot, Lawrence resident Akira S. Lewis, also is facing criminal charges from the incident, including misdemeanor battery on a law enforcement officer and failure to wear a seat belt. He made his first court appearance Wednesday.
Lewis’ case and Blood’s case have been assigned to different judges. Blood’s next appearance will be before Judge Peggy Kittel.