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The Justice Department announced that former Jefferson Parish, La. Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Gary J. Shine pleaded guilty today before Federal District Court Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle to assaulting a detainee at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in Gretna, La., thereby depriving the detainee of his civil rights.
During the plea hearing, Shine admitted that on Oct. 21, 2012, while he was working as a sergeant, he struck an inmate with his knee, while the inmate’s hands were cuffed behind his back. Shine admitted that he also punched the inmate in the head. Shine’s actions caused bruising. Shine acknowledged that the inmate did not pose a threat to Shine or any other person, and that there was no legal justification for Shine to strike the inmate.
“It is a federal crime for law enforcement officers to willfully use excessive force,” said Jocelyn Samuels, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “Today’s guilty plea demonstrates the Justice Department’s commitment to ensuring that official misconduct is addressed fully and fairly.”
“The vast majority of our law enforcement officials serve with honor and integrity,” said Kenneth Polite, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana. “However, when someone abuses the power and privileges of his office, as Gary Shine did here, he will be held accountable.”
At sentencing, which is set for Jan. 22, 2014, Shine faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years of incarceration.
This case was investigated by the FBI and was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Christine M. Siscaretti of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen C. Parker for the Eastern District of Louisiana.