Last Thursday, The Tifton Gazette reported that a Georgia police chief was convicted of violating the civil rights of a man who was already in custody.
Walter Young, former police chief of the Omega Police Department, was accused of physically abusing Alfonso Moreno while he was already in custody, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Young faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. He’ll be sentenced on October 29.
The incident occurred on March 24, 2011, when Young punched and slapped Moreno while strapped in a chair. According to the Tifton Gazette, Young struck Moreno eight times and broke his nose. The jail’s surveillance system recorded the incident and video was shown to the jury.
“Most officers do their job with honor, but this officer abused the authority entrusted to him by his community,” said Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Thomas Perez.
The FBI handled the investigation and both the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia prosecuted the case.
“The federal government will continue to vigorously prosecute individuals who violate the constitutional rights of others,” said Perez.
Young was suspended without pay in April 2011 and dismissed from his position as police chief in May 2011.