The St. Paul police officer acquitted earlier this year for allegedly punching a suicidal 14-year-old girl has resigned from the department.
Michael Soucheray II, 39, resigned effective Nov. 24 before two internal affairs investigations of his conduct were completed, according to police spokesman Steve Linders.
Soucheray, who was making $71,219 a year, did not return a message seeking comment.
"I know he didn't have a lot of support from the police department," said attorney Peter Wold, who represented Soucheray at trial.
Soucheray's two pending investigations will be closed and won't be made public since he is no longer an employee, Linders said.
Police could not say what was being investigated since the cases did not result in discipline. One investigation was initiated in 2016, the year the incident occurred, and one was initiated this year. Jurors acquitted Soucheray of misdemeanor fifth-degree assault in May.
Chief Todd Axtell issued a written statement when Soucheray was acquitted, saying that the department would start its "internal process," and that he was "deeply disappointed" by what he saw on squad video that captured the incident.
"The officer's actions do not in any way, shape or form reflect or align with our values, expectations or mission," Axtell said at the time.
Soucheray and his partner were called to a shelter for sexually exploited girls, Brittany's Place, on Dec. 1. A girl had cut herself with a metal object and was reportedly suicidal.
Prosecutor Christopher Bates, an assistant Minneapolis city attorney, told jurors that Soucheray lashed out in anger after the girl spat in his face and that he punched her while she was handcuffed in the back seat of a squad. Soucheray later concocted a story about acting in self-defense, Bates said.
Wold told jurors that Soucheray used a "startle flinch response" distraction technique that made minimal to no physical contact with the girl.
Soucheray testified that he flung his arm toward the girl to startle her so she would stop spitting, and that he "may have brushed her cheek." Meanwhile, he wrote in a police report that "out of natural reaction, I struck [the girl] in the face with my left hand."
Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708