Former Officer Willie Fred Knowles, 66, of the Homer, Louisiana, Police Department is scheduled to be sentenced in November after he plead guilty last week of pushing and striking a female while on duty.
The woman wasn’t under arrest when she was assaulted, according to officials.
Knowles admitted to violating the civil rights of K.M.and making false statements about the incident to the FBI, officials said.
According to the plea agreement, Knowles admitted that, on Oct. 29, 2012, he got into a verbal argument with K.M., who was not under arrest at the time, while he was on duty. He further admitted that during the argument, he pushed her down and struck her face and body without justification.
Knowles also admitted that he falsely told FBI agents that the woman started the incident by grabbing him and jumping on his back, and that he never hit her. However, Knowles acknowledged that, in fact, he had started the physical altercation when he pushed the woman down and struck her.
“Without any legitimate reason or cause, this officer chose to use violent force against the victim and then lie to try to cover up his crime,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta. “Whenever law enforcements officers break the law they take an oath to uphold, they violate the public trust and threaten the reputation of their colleagues who wear the badge and perform their jobs with honor and distinction.”
“This officer’s actions tarnish the reputations and standards upheld by thousands who work in law enforcement across our nation,” said U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley of Louisiana. “Our office will continue to make civil rights cases a priority.”
Knowles will be sentenced on Nov. 9. He is facing up to six years in prison.
The FBI investigated this case.
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