Former Homer Police Officer Indicted for Civil Rights Violations
SHREVEPORT, La. –United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced that a grand jury indicted a former Homer Police Officer Wednesday for depriving three people of their civil rights by attacking them and also for lying to FBI agents.
Former Homer Police Officer Willie Fred Knowles, 64, of Homer, was charged with three counts of deprivation of civil rights and one count of lying to a federal agency. According to the indictment, while acting as a police officer, Knowles violated a victim’s civil rights on October 29, 2012 by attacking the victim. He pushed the victim to the floor and struck the victim in the face and body causing bodily injury. He then lied to the FBI on March 1, 2013 about the incident. Knowles told agents that he was attacked and never struck the victim. In two other incidents on January 14, 2012 and July 5, 2012, Knowles deployed his TASER without justification on two victims, which caused physical injury and violated the victims’ civil rights.
Knowles faces 10 years in prison for each civil rights count and five years in prison for lying to a federal agency. He also faces three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
The FBI and Louisiana State Police conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary J. Mudrick and Trial Attorney Christine M. Siscaretti from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.