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Oklahoma City police respond to bicyclist’s formal complaint

OKLAHOMA CITY - An investigation into an Oklahoma City police officer who is accused of stopping a woman who was riding her bicycle and searching her is complete.

Kelsey Pierce says she was riding her bicycle to work at Tower Theatre in October of 2017 when an officer pulled her over at N.W. 21st and Dewey.

"It was just very scary. I had no idea what was happening," she said.

She says the officer handcuffed her and put her in his police car before searching through her backpack.

Pierce says the officer then told her she matched the description of someone involved in “suspicious activity.”

"The officer searched my backpack and searched my bags on my bicycle and then told me that I matched the description of a complaint about a suspicious person off of 19th and Douglas," said Pierce.

It's something her attorney says is illegal.

"He never told Kelsey why she was being detained until she was in the back of his police car while he was searching her belongings," said her attorney, Bryce Harp.

In the police report, the officer wrote that Pierce was "very hostile and kept throwing items around and attempted to throw her driver's license at me."

However, the body cam video contradicts those claims.

After the body cam video was released, it sparked hundreds of comments from people across the globe.  The incident even led Pierce to file a formal complaint against the officer.

At the time, police told News 4 they were investigating the matter and the "appropriate action will be taken if necessary."

In January, police told News 4 that the investigation was complete.

"That investigation is over.  His discipline did not rise to the level of being releasable under the Open Records Act.  For the discipline to be releasable, the employee must be either terminated, suspended, demoted, or suffer a loss of pay.  None of those things occurred," a police official told KFOR.

Now, News 4 has obtained a letter the department recently sent to Pierce.

"I have received your formal complaint dated November 2, 2017 wherein you alleged misconduct on the part of an officer of the Oklahoma City Police Department. After receiving your complaint an investigation was conducted by the officer's supervisor and that investigation has been reviewed through the officer's chain of command.

After a thorough review of the investigation and considering all the facts and circumstances involved in the incident, I have concluded there is sufficient evidence to sustain an allegation of misconduct against the officer. The officer's actions were not consistent with the standards of this department. Appropriate measures have been taken to correct the officer's behavior.

Miss Pierce, all employees of the Oklahoma City Police Department are required to conduct themselves professionally and responsibly at all times. I appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns and respond to you regarding our actions. I hope future contacts you may have with any member of the Oklahoma City Police Department will have a positive outcome," the letter read.

News 4 reached out to the Oklahoma City Police Department for an additional comment, but officials said they did not want to respond beyond what was written in the letter.