This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Tarence Maddox still remembers the moment last summer at the Country Club Plaza when he says he and his daughter were attacked by KCPD officers.

KCPD Officer Nicholas McQuillen now faces a misdemeanor assault charge, and Maddox is hopeful justice will soon be served. 

Maddox, a former Wyandotte County commissioner, brought his teenage daughter and son to the Black Lives Matter protests on the Plaza last May. Incident reports say Maddox was in the street while protesting, but Maddox said he stayed on the sidewalk as officers instructed.

Maddox said within 30 minutes of arriving at the Plaza, officers pepper-sprayed a non-violent crowd, and out of frustration he began shouting at police. 

“I felt like it was prematurely done, and it was done to aggravate the crowd,” Maddox said. “That’s when I stepped up and said a few other things and I say choice words. That caused me and my daughter to be attacked for using our First Amendment right.” 

Maddox was pulled out of the crowd, arrested and charged with failure to comply. Those charges were later dropped.

On Friday, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced that a grand jury had indicted 38-year-old McQuillen with misdemeanor assault for “recklessly” injuring Maddox’s 15-year-old daughter. 

Court documents say McQuillen pepper sprayed her in the face.

Picture of girl getting pepper sprayed in Kansas City

In a statement, the Kansas City Fraternal Order of Police maintains that McQuillen used appropriate force, saying in part: “The individual here had no injuries or lasting effects from the use of the OC spray. We believe this charge has no merit and the FOP will fully support Officer McQuillen as he challenges it in Court.”  

The charging documents say McQuillen was trained not to use the pepper spray directly in someone’s face or eyes. Maddox said his daughter is still struggling with the incident. 

“She’s a vibrant young lady. She does great in school, but she has her moments where, you know, she’s still feeling the post traumatic experience of what happened that day on the plaza,” he said. 

Five KCPD officers have been indicted in four excessive force cases in less than a year. All the victims have been Black, two of them are teenagers. Maddox said this exposes a dangerous pattern in the department. 

“I think there must be accountability. The accountability must come from the mayor to the police chief and the police chief down to the officers,” he said. 

McQuillen is facing one count of misdemeanor fourth-degree assault for his interaction with Maddox’s teen daughter. There is also a pending civil lawsuit against the officer and the department that includes both Maddox and his daughter. The civil trial is set to begin next January.