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Cop cleared in ex-astronaut's arrest

NASSAU BAY, Texas, April 3 -- A Nassau Bay police officer accused of mistreating former astronaut Mae Jemison during a February traffic arrest has been cleared of wrongdoing, a spokesman for the Houston suburb said. Officer Henry M. Hughes III was returned to active duty Tuesday as a patrolman with no loss of pay or benefits, Nassau Bay City Manager David Stall said.

Hughes, a 12-year veteran, was relieved of duty on Feb. 27 after Jemison filed a complaint, contending he treated her roughly on Feb. 24. 'The internal affairs investigation found that the arrest was lawful and routine in nature,' Stall said in a statement released to the media. 'No evidence was found to prove the use of excessive force, verbal abuse or other mistreatment of Dr. Jemison. The investigation was also unable to conclude officer Hughes violated any law, rule or department policy during the arrest or the events surrounding the arrest.' Hughes was unavailable for comment as was Jemison. Rusty Hardin, a Houston attorney representing Jemison, said she was out of the country and could not comment. Hardin said he was upset that Jemison was not informed before Stall made his findings public. Jemison was the first black woman in the astronaut corps. Hughes stopped the former astronaut for making an illegal turn and then arrested her when he found there was an outstanding traffic warrant for her arrest from Fayette County. Jemison heads a consulting firm.

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