Former officer accused of shoving prisoner faces federal charge

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ST. LOUIS – A fired suburban St. Louis police officer who is accused of shoving and choking a prisoner inside a booking area while a surveillance camera was rolling has been charged with a federal civil rights offense.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Robert Ryan Watson already was facing a fourth-degree assault charge in Jefferson County Circuit Court when the misdemeanor federal charge was added this week.

Officials have said the 40-year-old prisoner was being booked for violating a court order and had been insulting officers before the April 23 incident.

Watson’s lawyer says his client “regrets losing his temper.“

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