A Lexington police officer entered an Alford plea to an harassment charge Thursday after he got rough with a prisoner in January.
Officer James Norris was charged with second-degree official misconduct and harassment after he shoved a prisoner against the back of a patrol wagon while the person was handcuffed and wearing a spit hood. That occurred Jan. 13 on the 2000 block of Richmond Road, according to Fayette District Court documents. Norris pleaded not guilty to the charges at an April arraignment.
Norris, 34, was scheduled to go on trial Friday on the charges. During Thursday's hearing, the misconduct charge was dismissed, and he was ordered to pay a $250 fine and court costs for the harassment charge.
In an Alford plea, a defendant maintains his innocence but pleads guilty because he thinks there is enough evidence for a jury to convict.
An investigation confirmed that Norris "behaved improperly," intending to harass and intimidate the person during the arrest, according to the police department.
Norris joined the force Dec. 10, 2007, and was assigned to patrol duty.
He was relieved of duty, with pay, on Jan. 22.
The police department suspended Norris at the end of March without pay pending an investigation for administrative charges.
Norris is not allowed to wear his police uniform, make arrests or perform enforcement duties during his suspension.