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Press Release

Former Alabama Sheriff’s Deputy Charged with Federal Civil Rights Offense for Excessive Force

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

           MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA – On October 31, 2023, a federal grand jury in Montgomery, Alabama, returned an indictment charging a former Elmore County Sheriff’s Deputy with depriving an arrestee of his civil rights under color of law. The indictment was unsealed following Hick’s initial appearance in federal court, which occurred on November 3, 2023.

           The indictment charges former Sheriff’s Deputy Blake Hicks, 33, with one count of deprivation of rights under color of law for willfully using unreasonable force against an arrestee. Specifically, the indictment alleges that, without legal justification, Hicks punched and kicked the arrestee in or around the head while the arrestee was handcuffed and lying on the ground, resulting in bodily injury.

           The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. A federal judge will determine any sentence based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

           Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, Acting United States Attorney Jonathan S. Ross for the Middle District of Alabama, and Special Agent in Charge Paul W. Brown of the FBI Mobile Field Office made the announcement.  

           The FBI Mobile Field Office investigated this case. 

           Assistant United States Attorney Eric Counts for the Middle District of Alabama and Trial Attorney Laura-Kate Bernstein and Special Litigation Counsel Michael J. Songer of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section are prosecuting the case. 

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated November 3, 2023

Civil Rights