INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - It's a case that sparked community outrage. IMPD Officer Jerry Piland was accused of using excessive force while arresting an Indianapolis teenager back in May.
Early Friday morning, Officer Jerry Piland found out he will not lose his job.
The 6-to-1 not guilty verdict was reached by the Civilian Police Merit Board at around 4 a.m. Friday after 2-days of testimony.
Reaction after the verdict was clear on both sides of the hearing room.
On one side dozens of IMPD officers spilled out into the hallway. On the other side several of Johnson's friends and clergy members.
As the verdict was read Officer Piland held his head in his hands. Then shared a long hug with is wife.
24-Hour News 8's Troy Kehoe asked Piland if he was relieved by the board's decision? He replied, "Absolutely."
Now 16-year-old Brandon Johnson who accused Piland of hitting and kicking him at least 15 times was absent as the verdict was read.
He and his family left the merit board room late Thursday night after listening to hours of testimony.
Rev. Richard Willoughby spoke to 24-Hour News 8 about his anger and frustration about the ruling. (Click on the video player to watch the full interview on Daybreak)
He said, "This is a slap in the face to the community. We need to dismantle the police merit board."
Willoughby says he will fight to change the make up of the board. He believes no members of the Fraternal Order of Police should be sitting on the board.
24-Hour News 8's Adrienne Broaddus spoke to the one board member that voted guilty.
Joe Slash said, "When you look at the picture of Brandon Johnson's face anyone can see that is excessive force."
24-Hour News 8 will continue to follow this story throughout the day. Be sure to check WISHTV.com for updates.
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