Rob Sanders Hearing Wraps Up

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COLUMBIA - Columbia's Public Advisory Board members said Rob Sanders' hearing Friday was the longest testimony they had ever heard.

13.5 hours, 12 witnesses, and a wealth of information later, the six-member board will deliberate the arguments Friday night. The hearing adjourned at 10 p.m.

The board has ten business days to get a recommendation to City Manager Mike Matthes' desk. Matthes then has 30 regular days to decide if Sanders is to be reinstated.

The Columbia Police Department investigated Sanders in September 2011 for his handling of then prisoner Kenneth Baker.

Video evidence shows Sanders entered Baker's holding cell and shoved Baker. The blow knocked Baker into the back wall of the cell causing him to bleed from his head. Baker also exhibited a back injury, though investigators could not tie that injury to any particular part of his arrest.

After the incident, Sanders faced three allegations: Improper and abusive treatment of a prisoner, using excessive force on a prisoner, and violation to provide adequate medical treatment to a prisoner.

Police chief Ken Burton eventually fired Sanders finding him guilty of all three allegations. Sanders was found not guilty of any criminal charges in the incident by a Boone County judge in October, 2013.

[Editor's note: This story was edited to remove language that attributed the jail cell incident as the cause for the back injury.]