WASHINGTON – A former Gary, Ind., Police Department officer pleaded guilty today to a charge that he knowingly falsified a police report to obstruct and influence a criminal civil rights investigation, announced Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.
Robert Irving, age 36, pleaded guilty in the Northern District of Indiana before Senior Judge James T. Moody. Irving admitted that, after using force during an arrest made on Sept. 11, 2005, he knowingly and intentionally made false statements in a police report and that he did so "in substantial part, to avoid a criminal investigation into [his] actions." Irving further admitted that he had "altered the police report to fabricate or exaggerate wrongdoing on the part of the arrestee . . . and to omit or minimize the force I used against [the arrestee]." According to the plea, Irving did so to "support [his] claim that [his] uses of force against Mr. Jones were reasonable."
The obstruction charge carries a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment; a maximum fine of $250,000; up to three years supervised release and a $100 special assessment.
The case is being prosecuted by the Civil Rights Division with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Indiana.