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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City police sergeant pleaded guilty to assaulting a 15-year-old boy while on duty.

In court Thursday, Matthew Thomas Neal admitted to a judge that he put his knee on the back of the victim’s head and neck in November 2019.

The incident happened as Neal was taking the teen into custody near East 51st Street and Troost Avenue.

The boy’s head was forced to the pavement, and according to court documents, the boy repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe,” in a plea for help.

In exchange for Neal’s guilty plea, a Jackson County judge suspended imposition of any prison sentence, and instead ordered Neal to serve a term of four years probation.

Neal also has been ordered to have no contact with the victim or his family.

He must surrender his POST license, which means he can no longer work as a law enforcement officer in Missouri, and must write an apology to the victim.

Neal must also complete an anger management class.

The prosecutor says the victim knows about the plea deal and has no comment.

Neal’s attorney says the former KCPD sergeant resigned from the police force Wednesday.

If Neal violates the terms of his probation, he still could be sentenced to between two and four years behind bars.

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