A federal judge sentenced a former St. Louis Metropolitan police officer Thomas Carroll, 52, to four years and four months Thursday for beating a handcuffed suspect who was in possession of his daughter’s credit card, according to officials.
“It’s a sad day when a uniformed police officer is sent to prison for violating the constitutional rights of a citizen,” said U.S. Attorney Dickinson. “No one is above the law, and no one has the right to take the law into their own hands. Now this disgraced officer will face the consequences of his violent crime. Our system of justice will hold him accountable for his betrayal of the community he swore to protect and serve.”
Here are the facts and circumstances surrounding this case:
- Waller was arrested at Ballpark Village on July 22, 2014, because he was unlawfully in possession of a credit card that belonged to Carroll’s daughter.
- Carroll, who was on duty that night, responded to Ballpark Village and confronted Waller, who was already under arrest, handcuffed and seated in the backseat of another officer’s patrol car.
- Carroll yelled at Waller, telling him that he made a “huge mistake” and “broke into the wrong girl’s car.”
- Another police officer then drove Waller to the Central Patrol police station, and Carroll followed behind in his own patrol car.
- Carroll admitted that, despite orders from a superior officer to stay away from Waller, he entered the interview room where Waller was handcuffed and shackled to the floor.
- Carroll began yelling at Waller, questioning him about who broke into his daughter’s car. Carroll threw Waller into a chair and then picked him up and threw him into a wall.
- While Waller. was on the ground, Carroll punched Waller in the torso. Waller was handcuffed throughout the assault.
- As a result, Waller suffered bodily injury.
Waller never posed a threat to Carroll. Nonetheless, Carroll assaulted Waller knowing it was wrong and against the law to do so, and knowing that it violated his oath as police officer, officials said.
By pleading guilty today, Carroll admitted that he deprived the victim of his constitutional right to be free from unreasonable seizure, which includes the right to be free from unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer.
In a separate but related case, Bliss Worrell, 28, of Clayton, Missouri, a former prosecutor for the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office, was sentenced Thursday to 18 months’ probation for concealing her knowledge of Carroll’s assault. Worrell pleaded guilty on Oct. 26, 2015, to misprision of a felony.
Worrell was an assistant circuit attorney in the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office Misdemeanor Division from August 2013 through July 2014. Worrell will be sentenced at a later date.
Worrell admitted that she failed to notify authorities of the assault and that she took an affirmative step to conceal the felony.
Worrell testified at Carroll’s sentencing hearing that while she was working as a prosecutor in the Misdemeanor Division, Carroll, with whom she had become close friends, bragged about assaulting Waller, and forcing his gun into Waller’s mouth.
Worrell admitted that she filed charges against M.W. without disclosing knowledge of the assault to her colleagues, supervisors or the judge assigned to setting a bond. She admitted during her guilty plea that she allowed the charges to stand despite later learning that the facts supporting the attempted escape charge were fabricated to cover for injuries that Waller sustained during the assault.
She admitted that she allowed the charges to stand despite later learning that the facts that made out the charge of attempted escape were fabricated to cover for injuries that the arrestee sustained during the assault.
Bliss Barber Worrell and her colleague Katherine Dierdorf were asked to resign from the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office over a year ago, according to a Fox 2 TV report. They stepped down over an incident involving a man who claims he was beaten while arrested.
Worrell served as an assistant circuit attorney in the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office Misdemeanor Division from August 2013 through July 2014, the Fox report stated.
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