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Minnesota officer acquitted in punching of 14-year-old girl

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota police officer accused of punching a handcuffed 14-year-old girl in the face has been acquitted of assault.

A jury in St. Paul took less than 90 minutes Thursday to decide to acquit Michael Soucheray, an eight-year veteran. He remains on leave and still faces an internal affairs investigation.

Soucheray was charged with fifth-degree assault, a misdemeanor. He and other officers were called to a shelter for teens Dec. 1 to take a resident to a hospital. Soucheray was accused of punching the girl after she spat at him.

His attorney, Peter Wold, said afterward that Soucheray didn’t intend to cause harm.

Police released squad car video of the incident Thursday, and Chief Todd Axtell said he was “deeply disappointed” by what it showed of Soucheray’s actions.

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