CHICAGO — A Dolton, Ill., police officer was arrested today on federal civil rights and obstruction of justice charges alleging that he used excessive force against two victims in 2009 and later threatened Dolton’s then police chief during the investigation, the Justice Department announced today. Kevin Fletcher, 34, of Dolton, was indicted on two counts of violating the victims’ civil right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a person acting under color of law and one count of obstruction of justice. The indictment was returned by a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Illinois last Thursday and unsealed today after Fletcher was arrested.
Fletcher was released on bond after being arraigned today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez in federal court in Chicago. He joined the Dolton Police Department in October 2006.
The indictment alleges that on May 17, 2009, while performing his duties as a police officer, Fletcher used a baton to strike two unnamed victims, identified only as “Victim M” and “Victim W,” in the head, resulting in each victim suffering bodily injury.
The obstruction count alleges that on Feb. 15, 2010, Fletcher threatened to cause bodily injury to Dolton’s then police chief in retaliation for producing records and documents to the federal grand jury investigating Fletcher’s alleged use of excessive force, as well as for providing information to FBI agents conducting the investigation.
The government is being represented in court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tinos Diamantatos from the Northern District of Illinois and Justice Department Trial Attorney Sanjay Patel.
The civil rights counts each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and the obstruction count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
An indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.