Christopher Eugene Reynolds, 39, a former police officer of the Selmer, Tenn., Police Department (SPD), was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge J. Daniel Breen to serve one year and one day in prison following his conviction for violating the civil rights of an arrestee, the Justice Department announced. Reynolds pleaded guilty Nov. 6, 2013. Judge Breen also sentenced Reynolds to a period of two years supervised release and a $100 special assessment.
“The majority of law enforcement officers do not abuse their authority, however, the defendant has admitted that he wrongfully assaulted an arrestee,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute officers who use their official position to violate the civil rights of those in their custody.”
Reynolds admitted that on April 28, 2011, while using his authority as a SPD officer, he slammed a handcuffed arrestee to the floor of the McNairy Regional Hospital and struck him once in the face. According to information presented in court, Reynolds acknowledged that this assault was unreasonable, did not serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose and was not made by accident, mistake or inadvertence.
Reynolds was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
This case was investigated by FBI Special Agent Christopher Miller with the assistance of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Ryan J. Murguía for the Civil Rights Division and Special Litigation Counsel Gerard V. Hogan, with the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorney Victor L. Ivy for the Western District of Tennessee.