A federal jury convicted a former deputy with the Bullitt County, Kentucky, Sheriff’s Office of two counts of willfully depriving a Bullitt County resident of his constitutional rights under color of law, officials announced
The evidence indicated that Matthew Corder, of Louisville, Kentucky, abused his authority as a sworn law enforcement officer by retaliating against a Bullitt County resident who insulted him.
Corder unlawfully entered the man’s home, tased him in the back, arrested him without probable cause and charged him with crimes that he did not commit, causing the man sit in jail for weeks and lose his job.
The charges against the victim, disorderly conduct and fleeing and evading, were eventually dismissed.
Corder faces up to 10 years in prison on the first charge and one year of imprisonment on the second charge. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 17.
The four-day trial included testimony from the victim, the victim’s sister and the other officer on scene, which corroborated the victim’s account, according to officials.
The instructors from the police academy who trained Corder also testified to the fact that he knew what the law permits and knew that his conduct violated the victim’s constitutional rights. Evidence included Corder’s false arrest report as well as body-camera footage of the arrest.
“This deputy abused his authority, neglected the law and harmed a resident he swore an oath to protect,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta. “No insult justifies depriving the victim of his constitutional rights, and anytime law enforcement officers act like Corder did here, they do a disservice to the vast majority of their colleagues who safeguard our communities with fidelity, professionalism and distinction. The Justice Department will work tirelessly to bring to justice any member of law enforcement who breaks the law by using excessive force.”
“Every day, thousands of law enforcement officials have thousands of respectful, appropriate, lawful interactions with individuals,” said U.S. Attorney John E. Kuhn. “We all appreciate these dedicated guardians for keeping us safe in our homes and in our communities. But in those rare instances when a police officer violates his foremost duty to obey the law and adhere to the limits imposed by our Constitution, the Department of Justice will vigorously work to hold that officer accountable. Today our efforts culminated in a unanimous jury verdict finding that former Deputy Sheriff Corder victimized an individual by making an unconstitutional arrest and bringing unconstitutional charges. The Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to protect all individuals and communities from unlawful police conduct wherever and whenever it occurs.”
Corder previously worked for the Louisville Metro Police Department where he was accused of abusing his authority.
He was fired from his job, but a jury found him not guilty.