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Records: Missouri trooper had little training before suspect drowned while in custody

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KANSAS CITY, MO(AP) _ Missouri State Highway Patrol records raise questions about the training that a trooper received before a suspect drowned while in custody.

Twenty-year-old Brandon Ellingson went into the water May 31 as Trooper Anthony Piercy was transporting him from the Lake of the Ozarks on suspicion of boating while intoxicated. Witnesses have said that Piercy placed Ellingson in a life jacket but that the suspect’s arms weren’t in the arm holes. The device came off when Ellingson went into the water.

The Missouri Water Patrol merged with the Highway Patrol in 2011. Afterward, troopers like Piercy, who primarily patrol Missouri’s roadways, began working the lake during peak boating season.

The Kansas City StarĀ  reports that they received a fraction of the water-based training they would have received before the merger.
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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com