Police Officer Who Struck Suspect with Brass Knuckles Charged with Assault


Travis W. Cozine is now facing criminal charges in St. Francois County. - DANNY WICENTOWSKI
  • Travis W. Cozine is now facing criminal charges in St. Francois County.
A police officer in Bonne Terre, Missouri, who allegedly struck a handcuffed suspect in the face while wearing brass knuckles is now facing criminal charges.

Travis W. Cozine has been charged in St. Francois County Circuit Court with assault in the second degree, armed criminal action and unlawful possession of a weapon. Cozine has also been suspended from the police force.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, whose office brought the charges, issued a press release saying they stem from an incident in May. Officer Cozine was called to investigate a domestic disturbance, and ended up arresting a suspect.

But while the suspect was in handcuffs, Cozine allegedly struck him several times in the face with his brass knuckles, leaving lacerations that required stitches. The Bonne Terre Police Department initiated a “use of force” investigation and then requested an investigation into potential criminal charges by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

“There is no place for abuse of power in Missouri,” Hawley said in the press release.

Hawley's office ended up on the case after the office of St. Francois County Prosecuting Attorney Jerrod Mahurin recused himself, citing an unnamed conflict.

Mahurin was the subject of a Riverfront Times expose in July. St. Francois County is about an hour's drive west of St. Louis.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at sarah.fenske@riverfronttimes.com

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