WASHINGTON Ė A federal grand jury in Oxford, Miss., returned a five-count indictment earlier this week, which was unsealed today, charging Assistant Chief Scott Gentry, Major Todd Fulwood, and Officer Adam McHann of the Olive Branch Police Department with federal offenses, including civil rights violations, conspiracy, witness tampering, and making false statements. The indictment was announced today by Rena J. Comisac, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, Jim Greenlee, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Miss., and Frederick T. Brink, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jackson Field Office.
The indictment alleges that on March 8, 2003, Officer Adam McHann violated a young manís civil rights by repeatedly ordering a police dog to bite and maul him. The indictment further alleges that when another police officer attempted to file a complaint about Officer Adam McHannís unjustified use of the police dog, Assistant Chief Gentry and Major Fulwood conspired to cover up the dog bite incident. Fulwood and Gentry allegedly pressured the officer not to report the incident, telling him, among other things, that reporting the incident might end his law enforcement career. The indictment also alleges that Gentry and Fulwood lied to FBI agents who were investigating the initial dog bite incident.
The Civil Rights Division is committed to the aggressive enforcement of the nationís civil rights laws. In the past seven years of this Administration, the Division has convicted over 50 percent more defendants for color of law, or official misconduct, violations than in the previous seven years. The Division continues to set records in the enforcement of criminal civil law. Last year, the Division convicted 189 defendants for civil rights violations, which is a record number in the 50-year history of the Division. Last yearís record broke the record set in 2006.
An indictment is only an allegation, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The case was investigated by special agents from the Jackson Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Evan Rikhye and Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert W. Coleman.