The trial for Bridges ‘Sutton’ McRae, a former Memphis police officer charged with beating a transgender prisoner Duanna Johnson ended in mistrial shortly after 2 p.m. today. A juror said later that the vote was 11 to 1 for conviction of McRae. The lone juror who voted for acquittal did not think the government had proved that McRae acted "willfully."
McRae was accused of beating the prisoner he identified as Dwayne Johnson on an arrest ticket, but who became upset when the officer would not use the female name, Duanna, during the fingerprint process in the jail sally port. A surveillance video of the incident showed McRae striking Johnson six times in the head with his metal handcuffs in his hand and then using pepper spray.
McRae said he was only trying to control a large, unruly prisoner and that the cuffs did not touch Johnson, but prosecutors said the officer was out of control and used them unnecessarily as a deadly weapon.
McRae was fired after the incident in the sally port in February of 2008. He was charged with civil rights violations and faced up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
The 43-year-old Johnson was shot to death later in 2008 on a street corner near her home. No one has been arrested. Prosecutors say they plan to charge McRae again. He will stay free on his current bond.