Deposition from deadly officer-involved shooting in Barber County released ahead of election

Published: Jun. 9, 2020 at 11:51 PM CDT
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The Barber County Sheriff is running for re-election, but the family of an unarmed Sun City killed in a 2017 officer-involved shooting wants the public to hear the deposition the sheriff gave in the case before Election Day.

Barber County Undersheriff Virgil "Dusty" Brewer remains on unpaid leave as he awaits his September trial for reckless involuntary manslaughter in the death of Steven Myers. Myers died after he was shot with a homemade beanbag round fired by an undersheriff at close range.

Sheriff Lonnie Small was also there the night Myers died. During a deposition, Mike Kuckleman, the Myers family attorney, asked Small questions about how his department handled the events leading up to Myers' death.

Kuckleman said the taking a deposition in law enforcement can be difficult because officers have qualified immunity. With Small's statements on the record, Myers' family wants Barber County residents to hear his responses before they cast their vote.

"With a little luck, he will just pass out and die..." can be heard saying in a body camera video rolling during the deposition.

"Did you hear someone say with a little luck he will pass out and die?" Asks Kuckleman.

"I did say that," responded Small.

"Did they know whether they were supposed to apprehend him, or were they supposed to shoot and kill him?" Asked Kuckleman.

"I didn't tell them anything," Small responded.

"You turned off your body camera as soon as steven was shot correct?" Kuckleman asked.

"I turned off my body camera as soon as I thought the incident was over," responded Small.

Myers' widow, Kristina, said this is something she has to live with every single day.

"Officers are not to supposed to be held above the law, they are supposed to be held within the law like everyone else, and that is not what's happening," said Kristina Myers.

Both Kristina and her attorney said they want more done prior to Brewer's trial, including that he be stripped of his law enforcement certification.

"We want action, with all of the warm thoughts and all of the prayers, and everything that goes with it because without it there is nothing,"

"He lost his life, and it is important that his life not be lost in vain, we need to learn from it, justice requires changes."

Last week,

to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit.

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