Officer returns to work after being cleared in shooting

Defendant Derek Payton (Pool: Kearney Hub)

A Kearney officer has returned to work after being cleared of a criminal charge in a shooting last year.

KPD confirms Derek Payton returned this week after about a year on administrative leave.

Last June, prosecutors said Payton fired three shots at Jose Klich during a traffic stop.

Klich was injured, but survived. Payton later testified that he fired when he saw the vehicle Klich was driving turn towards him.

A jury found Payton not guilty of second degree assault two months ago.

KPD didn't say why Officer Payton didn't immediately return to work.