It is the responsibility of the United States Attorney’s Office to uphold the civil and constitutional rights of all individuals. Federal law prohibits discrimination in education, employment, credit, housing, public accommodations, voting, and state and local government programs. Violent crime motivated by hatred for an individual’s racial, ethnic, religious, gender, or sexual preference also violates federal law. The United States Attorney’s Office works closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division as well as other investigative agencies to prosecute those who violate the civil rights of individuals in our community. Some of the civil rights cases prosecuted by our office include:
- Steven D. Archer of Knoxville was convicted of federal civil rights charges for his burning a cross in the yard of an inter-racial couple for the purpose of forcing them to move. Archer had bragged about his actions to colleagues who then testified against him in court. He is pending sentencing.
- David Webber, Josh Monday, Sammy Franklin, Shayne Green and William Carroll, all Campbell County Sheriff’s Department deputies, were convicted of federal civil rights violations for the beating of a drug suspect in his own home. The beating, which lasted almost two hours was done to force him to sign a confession. This beating was secretly recorded by the victim. The victim complained to local law enforcement about the beating but the five officers lied, including Franklin who committed perjury before a state grand jury. They were sentenced to periods ranging from 51 to 72 months in prison.
The United States Attorney’s Office provides training and support to agencies and communities responding to racial, ethnic, or religious tensions. For more information about the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights programs visit http://www.justice.gov/crt.