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Press Release

Former Plymouth Police Officer Sentenced For Using Excessive Force And Lying

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
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BOSTON – A former Plymouth police sergeant was sentenced today for using excessive force on an arrestee and covering up his actions by falsifying police reports related to the incident.

Shawn Couglin, 47, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, one year of supervised release, and a fine of $7,500. In February 2014, Coughlin was convicted following a jury trial of deprivation of constitutional rights under color of law and falsifying a record to impede a federal investigation.

On November 19, 2011, at the Plymouth police station, Coughlin assaulted an arrestee who was in a holding cell and handcuffed behind his back. Coughlin struck the arrestee in the head and kneed him in the body, resulting in bodily injury. Evidence at trial also established that Coughlin falsified the official police incident reports regarding the incident.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by S. Theodore Merritt and Kristina E. Barclay of Ortiz’s Civil Rights Enforcement Team.

Updated December 15, 2014