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Retired officer found guilty of kicking arrestee in face

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A retired police officer in Louisiana has been convicted of kicking an auto burglary suspect in the face while the arrestee was being handcuffed by an officer.

The Times-Picayune (http://bit.ly/2rUxfLa ) reports that Criminal District Court Judge Franz Zibilich found 66-year-old Van Ballard guilty of the felony charge on Tuesday. Zibilich imposed a two-year suspended sentence and two years’ inactive probation for the retired New Orleans police officer.

Ballard testified Tuesday that the kick to the 20-year-old suspect’s face was accidental. But the judge said he didn’t find Ballard’s explanation credible after viewing the body camera footage of the Nov. 3 arrest.

Ballard retired from the New Orleans department in 2012 after 25 years on the force.

After the arrest he was suspended as an Orleans Parish reserve deputy sheriff.

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