Former Tennessee Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Handcuffed Arrestee
Christopher Eugene Reynolds, 39, a former police officer of the Selmer, Tenn., Police Department (SPD), pleaded guilty today in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee to violating the civil rights of an arrestee, the Justice Department announced.
During his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge J. Daniel Breen, Reynolds admitted that, while using his authority as a SPD officer, he slammed a handcuffed arrestee to the floor of the McNairy Regional Hospital and struck him in the face. According to information presented in court, Reynolds acknowledged that this assault was unreasonable and did not serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose. The victim was injured as a result of the assault.
“Mr. Reynolds has admitted that he used unjustified and unlawful force against a handcuffed arrestee,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Jocelyn Samuels. “The Justice Department will continue to prosecute law enforcement officers who violate the constitutional rights of individuals in their custody.”
Sentencing has been scheduled for Feb. 5, 2014. Reynolds faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison.
This case was investigated by FBI Special Agent Christopher Miller with the assistance of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Ryan J. Murguía and Special Litigation Counsel Gerard V. Hogan, with the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorney Victor L. Ivy of the Western District of Tennessee.