A Franklin police officer will not face a criminal charge after he was arrested earlier this week.
Schyuler Z. Brown, 29, was arrested on a felony charge of domestic battery after his wife told police he had thrown a paper plate and fork at her during an argument Monday.
On Friday, after reviewing evidence and interviewing Brown’s wife, Johnson County Prosecutor Brad Cooper found there was insufficient evidence to support a criminal charge against Brown, Cooper said in an email.
Brown’s wife told investigators that she did not believe Brown was trying to hit her, and in order to prove a charge of battery, prosecutors must be able to show that Brown knowingly or intentionally threw the plate, Cooper said.
Brown, a two-year veteran of the police department, will still face an internal disciplinary charge, Franklin Police Chief Tim O’Sullivan said.
The lack of a criminal charge does not negate the fact that being arrested is conduct unbecoming an officer, O’Sullivan said.
The chief is planning to consult with the city’s attorney on the disciplinary case, he said. Currently, Brown is suspended from the police department.
Brown’s wife called 911 at 12:43 p.m. Monday, police records show. She told a Johnson County Sheriff’s Office deputy that she and Brown had been arguing recently about their relationship, and that on Monday afternoon, Brown threw a paper plate in anger, causing the injury, the sheriff’s office report said.
The deputy noted a 1.5-inch scratch with dried blood under her right eye, the report said. She did not seek medical attention but said that she was in pain. Their 3-year-old son was present during the incident, the report said.
She told deputies that she and Brown were arguing, and Brown went into the kitchen to remove himself from the situation. She followed him to continue the argument, and Brown threw a plate and fork he was holding in the heat of the moment, Cooper and the police report said. When the deputy asked how a paper plate would have caused the cut, she told him that it was possible that the fork cut her, the report said.
Brown told deputies that his wife tried to grab the plate while he was turning away to throw it in the trash, Sheriff Doug Cox said.
The next day, she was adamant that she did not believe Brown was trying to hit her, Cooper said.
With her statement, prosecutors would not be able to get a conviction against Brown, Cooper said.
Brown is the second Franklin police officer to be arrested on a charge of domestic battery in the past eight months.
Bryan K. Burton, a 15-year veteran of the department, was fired this spring by the merit board after it found him guilty of two internal disciplinary charges: conduct unbecoming an officer and conduct injurious to the public peace and welfare. He had been arrested in October on a felony domestic battery charge. A special prosecutor decided Burton and his wife should not face criminal charges from the incident, but O’Sullivan sought Burton’s termination based, in part, on his disciplinary history.