News and Press Releases

TWO FORMER BIRMINGHAM POLICE OFFICERS INDICTED FOR CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2010


BIRMINGHAM – A federal grand jury today indicted two former members of the Birmingham Police Department for using unreasonable force during a January 2008 arrest, the U.S. Department of Justice announced in conjunction with U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance.

The one-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges that BARRETT GENE DEWITT and DAVID WAYNE DORAN, while acting in their official capacity as police officers, aided and abetted one another in striking the individual they were arresting with fists, feet and a baton on Jan. 23, 2008. Those blows caused bodily injury to the individual, who is identified in the indictment as A.W.

“Most law enforcement officers work every day to protect us and they earn our confidence by performing their duties with honor and integrity,” Vance said. “Police officers who use unreasonable force must be brought to account so that we can all feel safe and have trust in the officers who are there to protect us.”

According to the indictment, DEWITT and DORAN violated the victim’s civil rights by depriving A.W. of his Fourth Amendment constitutional right to be free of unreasonable seizures, which includes the right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by someone acting under the color of law.

The case was investigated by the FBI. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama is prosecuting the case in conjunction with the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department.

An indictment is only an allegation and does not constitute evidence of guilt on the part of the defendants.

 

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