News and Press Releases

"Ripley, Tennessee Police Officer" Indicted On Federal Civil Rights And Obstruction Charges Involving Alleged Use Of Force

March 1, 2012

Memphis, Tenn.- United States Attorney Edward L. Stanton, III and Aaron T. Ford, Special Agent in
Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Memphis Division, announced that a federal grand jury in
Memphis has indicted a Ripley, Tennessee, police officer on federal civil rights and obstruction of justice
charges. The indictment alleges that Stephen Michael Kirkpatrick, 47, used excessive force against a
victim in 2011 and later attempted to corruptly persuade another person in an official proceeding.
Kirkpatrick was indicted on two counts of violating the victim’s civil rights to be free from unreasonable
seizure and the use of unreasonable force by a person acting under color of law and one count of
obstruction of justice.

The indictment alleges that on May 17, 2011, while acting under color of law, Kirkpatrick assaulted and
choked an unnamed victim resulting in the victim suffering bodily injury. The obstruction count alleges
that on or about May 24, 2011, Kirkpatrick knowingly attempted to corruptly persuade an unnamed person in an official proceeding.

If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the civil rights counts and a maximum penalty of 20 years and a $250,000 fine on the obstruction count.

This case is being investigated by Special Agents from the Jackson Resident Agency of the Memphis
Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney
Jonathan Skrmetti of the Western District of Tennessee and Trial Attorney Ryan Murguía of the Criminal
Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

# # # #

An indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.


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