Former New Mexico Sheriff’s Deputy Indicted for Using Excessive Force
WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury in Albuquerque, N.M., returned a one-count indictment charging former San Juan County, N.M., Sheriff’s Deputy R. Dale Frazier, 56, with unlawfully assaulting a man with a dangerous weapon.
The indictment was announced today by Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division; Kenneth J. Gonzales, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico; and Carol K.O. Lee, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Albuquerque Field Office.
The indictment, which was returned on June 27, 2012, charges Frazier with one count of violating the victim’s right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a police officer.
According to the indictment, Frazier unlawfully assaulted a man on March 17, 2011, in Farmington, N.M., by striking him in the head, neck and body with a flashlight. The repeated strikes by Frazier resulted in bodily injury to the victim.
If convicted, Frazier faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
This case is being investigated by the Albuquerque Division of the FBI. It is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Sheldon L. Beer of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Baker for the District of New Mexico.
An indictment is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.