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Alabama Police Chief Gets 27 Months in Prison for Assaulting Arrestee

Former Alabama police chief, Daniel Winters, was sentenced to 27 months in prison for assaulting and failing to protect an arrestee.

Winters, 56, was convicted of two counts of violating the individual’s civil rights at a hearing on July 14, 2016 and was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Madeline Hughes Haikala of the Northern District of Alabama on Tuesday.

“Our society entrusts law enforcement leaders with the profound responsibility of protecting people from harm,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division.  “When law enforcement officials abuse the individuals they swore an oath to protect, they threaten the reputation of their colleagues in the profession who do their jobs honorably and with integrity.  This sentencing makes clear that no one, not even a police chief, is above the law.”

According to court records, Winters’s civilian friend, Bobby Hicks, discovered his funeral home was burglarized in March of 2015.

Federal prosecutors told jurors the two men then went to the residence of the believed culprit and entered without a search warrant. Upon entering, they began beating burglary suspect, David Fulmer.

According to a statement from the Department of Justice, the beating moved outside where Winters and his friend continued to strike and kick the victim in front of the residence. Over the course of approximately five minutes, Winters not only participated in the beating, but stood by watching his friend beat Fulmer and did nothing to stop it. A passing motorist called 911 to report the beating. Fulmer was left bloody with wounds to his face, chest and back, and was taken to the jail at the Stevenson Police Department. While at the jail, Fulmer began to spit up blood. A jailor requested Winters’ permission to call an ambulance, but Winters refused the request. Eventually, the jailor received permission from another supervisor and Fulmer was transported to a hospital, where he received medical attention.

“Police department leadership must set the example and uphold the integrity of their departments and meet the rightful expectation of every citizen that law enforcement officers will act in accordance with the laws they have sworn to uphold,” said U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance of the Northern District of Alabama.  “In this case, a police chief criminally abused his badge in order to benefit a friend and inflict violence on an individual in violation of the Constitution.  Our society cannot allow that kind of abuse of power and authority to go unpunished.”

 

Image: Pixabay

Posted in The Takedown

Tags: Justice Department Civil Division, civil rights, alabama police

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