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Press Release

Former Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Pleads Guilty to Using Excessive Force

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Kansas

Former Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper James Carson pleaded guilty in federal court to violating an individual’s civil rights by using excessive force, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division John Gore, United States Attorney for the District of Kansas Stephen R. McAllister, and Special Agent in Charge for the Kansas City Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Darrin E. Jones.

According to documents filed in connection with the plea, on June 25, 2013, the Defendant, James Carson, was acting under color of law as a Trooper for the Kansas Highway Patrol when he used unreasonable force against an arrestee, R.T.  According to the documents, Carson conducted a lawful arrest and then transported R.T. to the Labette County Jail, where at least five other law enforcement officials were present.  As Carson removed R.T. from the patrol vehicle and escorted him into the booking area, R.T.’s hands were cuffed behind his back.  Without warning, Carson kicked the legs out from underneath R.T., causing R.T. to crash down on his back onto the floor.  Carson admitted in court that he used force against R.T. for the purpose of punishment and not for a legitimate law enforcement purpose.

As part of the plea agreement, Carson has agreed to surrender his law enforcement credentials and never again accept any employment related to law enforcement.

“Any law enforcement official who uses excessive and unreasonable force against an arrestee violates the Constitution and its provision to provide for the safety and security of all citizens,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to aggressively prosecute officer misconduct and protect the integrity of our civil rights laws.”

This case was investigated by the Topeka Resident Agency of the Kansas City Field Office of the FBI.  The case was initially investigated by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Maag of the United States Attorney’s Office and Trial Attorney Rose Gibson of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section.

Updated January 26, 2018

Civil Rights