On October 22, 2012, the Department of Justice announced that Walter Young, the former police chief for the Omega Police Department in Georgia, was sentenced for assaulting a man who was restrained and in his custody.
Young was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Hugh Lawson and received 24 months in prison for “violating the civil rights of a pretrial detainee” while performing his duty as a police officer.
Thomas E. Perez, the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, stated, “There was no excuse for this use of force on a restrained individual and excessive force by those sworn to uphold the law will not be tolerated. The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute law enforcement officers who violate the constitutional rights of others.”
According to court documents, Young assaulted the detainee on March 24, 2011. While man was fully restrained in a chair, Young proceeded to slap and punch the man in the face and head. The detainee, Mr. Moreno, was hit a total of eight times, and he had his nose broken.
All of the excessive force was recorded by the surveillance system at the jail, and Young was convicted on August 1, 2012.
U.S. Attorney Michael J. Moore declared, “We trust our law enforcement officers to protect and serve the people of their community. When we discover violations of that trust, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will use all of our resources to see that those officers who broke the law are made to account for their actions.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Special Litigation Counsel Forrest Christian and Trial Attorney Tona Boyd were in charge of prosecution. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia and the Georgia Bureau of Investigations assisted in the investigation and prosecution as well.
Source: U.S. Department of Justice