The Justice Department announced that a federal grand jury in Shreveport, Louisiana, returned an indictment against former Homer Police Department Officer Willie Fred Knowles, 64, charging him with violating the civil rights of multiple individuals during three different incidents, as well as with making false statements to the FBI.
Knowles was charged with one count of willfully depriving a person of her civil rights when he pushed her down and struck her about her face and body, without justification. Knowles is also charged with making false statements to the FBI about this incident. In addition, Knowles is charged with depriving the rights of two other individuals during two separate incidents in which he tased them without justification.
If convicted, Knowles faces a maximum punishment of 10 years imprisonment on the civil rights charges; and five years in prison for making false statements to the FBI.
This case was investigated by the FBI. The case was referred to the FBI by the Louisiana State Police. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Christine M. Siscaretti from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and Assistant United States Attorney Mary J. Mudrick of the Western District of Louisiana.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.