COLUMBIA, Mo. -

The trial for a former Columbia Police Department officer accused of assaulting an inmate is underway Thursday.

Rob Sanders is accused of shoving an inmate in a cell back in 2011, causing the inmate to hit the back of his head against the wall.

Sanders was later fired for use of excessive force.

Cole County prosecutor Mark Richardson has been called in as a special prosecutor for the case. The trial will be  a bench trial, meaning it is a trial by a judge, not a jury.

An ABC 17 News crew is in court for the trial. Stay with ABC 17 News and abc17news.com for the latest developments.