Judge Bryan Round will not preside over a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the family of Anthony Bruno

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Jackson County Circuit Judge Bryan Round will not preside over a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the family of Anthony Bruno, who was shot to death by an off-duty Kansas City police officer last December.

Round, who had been a Kansas City police board attorney for about eight years, was assigned last week to preside over the controversial Bruno lawsuit.

But Round recused himself Wednesday after The Pitch published a story in which legal experts criticized him for comments made during a trial that appeared to be protecting the Kansas City Police Department. Round filed the case transfer order but did not say why he was recusing himself. He also did not provide a statement.

The Pitch reported Wednesday that Round had found Nicholas Rose not guilty of resisting arrest in June but guilty of disturbing the peace and careless driving. Rose and about 50 friends were riding motorcycles and doing stunts on Interstate 70 and U.S. Highway 40 last year and causing a traffic hazard.

Between the June trial and the July 30 sentencing hearing, Round had learned that Rose was considering an excessive-force lawsuit against the police department and officer Donald Hubbard, who arrested him. (Videos show Rose doing a wheelie and bumping the back of Hubbard’s patrol car. Videos also show Hubbard jumping out of his patrol car, grabbing Rose and throwing him to the ground. Hubbard later told officers that Rose was trying to flee the scene and trying to hit him with his helmet.)

Round, who was appointed to the bench this year, called Rose a “vulture” and sentenced him to two weeks of shock incarceration. He also told Rose that he would not have found him not guilty of resisting arrest if he had known that Rose was planning to file a lawsuit against the police department.

Legal experts said Round’s comments were outrageous and should be investigated by a disciplinary board.

The Bruno family filed the wrongful-death lawsuit last week against the Marriott Hotel and Hubbard, who was working there when the shooting took place. A grand jury in February cleared Hubbard of wrongdoing in the Bruno death. But new information has raised questions about the shooting and whether it should have happened

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