The Colorado cop who left a detainee in their car on a railway line to be struck by a train was convicted of reckless endangerment, reports the Associated Press. Jordan Steinke, however, was acquitted on a charge of attempted manslaughter. The woman, Yareni Rios-Gonzalez, was seriously injured in the collision.
There's no reasonable doubt that placing a handcuffed person in the back of a patrol car, parked on railroad tracks, creates a substantial and unjustifiable risk of harm by the train," said Judge Timothy Kerns.
But the evidence didn't convince Kerns that Steinke "knowingly intended to harm Ms. Rios-Gonzalez," and he added that Stienke had shown "shock and remorse."
Three things. 1) The misdemeanor conviction and felony acquittal means Steinke can still be a cop in Colorado. 2) If you find Officer Steinke's "those were railroad tracks?" defense hard to believe, you wouldn't be the only one. 3) Cops choose bench trials, where the judge determines guilt instead of a jury, because judges tend to be lenient and gullible when cops are on trial.