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Former Kansas sheriff's deputy involved in beanbag shooting death loses certification


TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A former southern Kansas sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed a man with a defective beanbag has been stripped of his peace officer certification.

Virgil Brewer, a former Barber County deputy, was found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the Oct. 6, 2017, death of 42-year-old Steven Myers, who died after Brewer shot him with the beanbag during a confrontation at Myers' home in Sun City.

The Kansas Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training reviewed the shooting last month and revoked Brewer's license, KSHB-TV reported.

The commission's report noted that body camera video of the confrontation showed Myers complying with conflicting commands from Brewer and another deputy when he exited a shed on his property.

He was not informed he was under arrest or that the beanbag would be used before Brewer fired the shot, according to the report.

The peace officers commission described Brewer’s conduct as “unprofessional” and lacking “good moral character”.

Brewer shot Myers with his own shotgun with a beanbag that he received at a previous job in Texas, and had not been trained to use it before the shooting, according to testimony at the trial. The ammunition had been discontinued for several years because it could cause penetrating injuries.

Prosecutor Melissa Gay Johnson with the Kansas attorney general’s office charged Brewer in October 2018. A Wyandotte County jury acquitted him in November 2022.

Myers' widow filed a federal lawsuit over his death and Kansas officials agreed to a $3.5 million settlement in 2020.