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Press Release

Former East St. Louis, Illinois, Police Officers Plead Guilty to Civil Rights Offenses Related to Excessive Force Incident

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Two former East St. Louis, Illinois, Police Department (ESLPD) officers, Vincent Anderson, 61, and Jason Boyd, 51, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to civil rights offenses related to Boyd’s use of unreasonable force against two juvenile detainees.

According to court documents, on Oct. 3, 2019, two juveniles, who had been detained by the ESLPD, were sleeping in separate, locked holding cells in the East St. Louis jail. At that time, ESLPD Officer Jason Boyd banged on the glass of the juveniles’ holding cells, but the juveniles did not wake up. Boyd took pepper spray out of his holster in view of the other officers — including an ESLPD supervisor, Captain Vincent Anderson, stepped into one of the locked holding cells and pepper sprayed one of the sleeping juveniles. The other officers — including Anderson — watched Boyd spray the juvenile and did nothing to stop him despite their duty to intervene in an unreasonable use of force.

Boyd and one of the other officers agreed that the second juvenile should also be sprayed. They walked to the holding cells, where Anderson and another officer had remained. Boyd then pepper sprayed the second sleeping juvenile. Again, none of the other officers acted to stop Boyd. Further, none of the officers acted to obtain care for the juveniles, despite the officers’ duty to obtain necessary medical care for detainees.

Boyd pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor civil rights violations for his use of unreasonable force against the juveniles and Anderson pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor civil rights violations for his failure to intervene in Boyd’s use of unreasonable force.

Sentencing hearings are scheduled for July 23. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe for the Southern District of Illinois and Special Agent in Charge David G. Nanz of the FBI Springfield Field Office made the announcement.  

The FBI Springfield Field Office is investigating the case.

Trial Attorney Erin Monju of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section is prosecuting the case with support from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois.

Updated April 11, 2024

Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 42-435