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Former Tuskegee Police Department Lieutenant Alex Huntley, 54, was sentenced to 36 months in prison and three years’ supervised release for beating a handcuffed and compliant arrestee, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin, Sr., of the Middle District of Alabama, and FBI Special Agent in Charge James Jewell.
On June 8, a federal jury convicted Huntley of one count of violating an individual’s civil rights resulting in bodily injury. Huntley was sentenced today by Chief United States District Court Judge W. Keith Watkins of the Middle District of Alabama.
According to evidence presented at trial, on Dec. 24, 2014, Huntley arrested a man who scuffled with police near the Tuskegee town square and directed a fellow police officer to transport the arrestee back to the Tuskegee Police Department for booking. Once there, Huntley sprayed pepper spray in the arrestee’s face, even though the arrestee was handcuffed and following police instructions. Huntley then took the arrestee inside the police station, where Huntley knocked the still-handcuffed arrestee to the ground, stomped on him, and repeatedly kicked and punched him. In between blows, Huntley stood over the arrestee and yelled threats at him as the arrestee screamed in pain. A police officer recruit who witnessed the beating was so horrified that he surreptitiously audio-recorded the assault on his cell phone and subsequently provided the recording to federal authorities.
“This defendant abused his police powers by beating a restrained man in his custody,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore. “The Department will not tolerate such abuses, and will continue to vigorously enforce our nation’s laws and hold officers who break the law accountable.”
“The vast majority of our police officers are dedicated to protecting and serving the public with strength, courage, and valor. Unfortunately, Mr. Huntley was not so dedicated,” said U.S. Attorney Franklin. “Police officers have an increasingly difficult job. This office will strive to support our law enforcement brothers and sisters, but will also prosecute those law enforcement officers who abandon their oath to protect and serve and chose to engage in criminal conduct that they are sworn to oppose.”
“Lady Justice wears a blindfold for a reason, and a violation of someone’s civil rights by a sworn law enforcement officer cannot be tolerated. The FBI will continue to pursue these types of cases with all available resources,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge James Jewell.
This case was investigated by the FBI. The Alabama State Bureau of Investigation also assisted in the investigation. Trial Attorney Samantha Trepel of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and Assistant United States Attorney Denise O. Simpson of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Alabama prosecuted the case.