Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Former Grundy County, Tennessee, Sheriff’s Deputy Charged with Civil Rights Offense and Making False Statements

Gregory Higgins, 42, was indicted today for using excessive force against an arrestee while Higgins was a deputy with the Grundy County, Tennessee, Sheriff’s Office, announced Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee J. Douglas Overbey, and FBI Knoxville Special Agent in Charge Troy A. Sowers.

Higgins is charged with one count of deprivation of rights under color of law and one count of making false statements to the FBI. The indictment alleges that Higgins used unreasonable force when he assaulted handcuffed arrestee A.L., resulting in bodily injury to A.L., and that Higgins then made false statements to the FBI about the assault.

The first count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years of imprisonment while the second count carries a maximum penalty of five years. An indictment is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the Knoxville Division of the FBI, and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Kathryn E. Gilbert of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and Assistant United States Attorney Perry H. Piper.

Topic(s): 
Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 
19-410
Updated April 23, 2019