Laredo Police Officer Enters Guilty Plea To Deprivation Of Civil Rights
LAREDO, Texas – Frank Carter, 43, a former officer Laredo Police Department (LPD), has entered a guilty plea today in federal court to violating the civil rights of an arrestee, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today along with Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Thomas E. Perez.
“Mr. Carter has admitted that he used unjustified and unlawful force against a handcuffed arrestee,” said Perez. “The Justice Department will continue to prosecute law enforcement officers who violate the constitutional rights of individuals in their custody.”
Carter entered the guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana today. Carter admitted that on May 26, 2012, while using his authority as a LPD officer, he struck a male victim who was handcuffed and detained in the backseat of Carter’s patrol car. Carter admitted he struck the victim several times.
According to information presented in court, rear facing dash camera audio and video recordings revealed Carter had yelled obscenities at the victim while he punched the victim in the head and body. Carter also repeatedly slammed the victim’s face into the back of the seat. The victim remained handcuffed during the entire incident and never resisted or attempted to harm Carter.
Judge Saldana has ordered a presentence report to be due April 11, 2013, at which time she will set sentencing date and decide whether to accept the guilty plea Carter entered today. If she accepts the plea, Carter will face a maximum of 10 years in prison. He was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.
This case was investigated by the FBI and Texas Rangers. Assistant United States Attorney Ruben R. Perez and Civil Rights Division Trial Attorneys Ryan Murguia and Christopher Lomax are prosecuting the case.