A former Kentucky cop has been sentenced to three years in federal prison after being found guilty of “willfully depriving a Kentucky citizen of his constitutional rights under color of law.” The announcement was made by the Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman for the Western District of Kentucky. In a press release Thursday the jury found that willfully violated the Constitution by arresting the victim, while knowing that he did not have probable cause to believe that the victim had committed any crime.”
Sergeant William Dukes abused his authority as a law enforcement officer when he retaliated when a man called the Providence Police Department to file a complaint against him. Dukes responded to the complaint by threatening the man with arrest if he called back again.
Determined to file his complaint, the victim then called the local sheriff’s office and the Kentucky State Police. When Dukes caught word of the extra calls, he drove to the man’s house in the middle of the night, without a warrant, to arrest him. Dukes arrived at the man’s home after 1 am and tried to take him into custody. The man resisted arrested saying he did nothing wrong. He retreated back into his home and Dukes entered without a warrant.
After entering the home, the Kentucky cop tasered the victim, sprayed him in the face with pepper spray, struck him repeatedly with a police baton, and punched him in the face, breaking his nose. He then handcuffed the man on four charges including property damage because blood from the victim’s broken nose got onto Dukes’s police uniform.
“Police officers have a duty to protect the rights of members of their communities and safeguard them from harm or injury,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore. “Dukes abused his authority as a law enforcement officer by illegally arresting his victim and also by inflicting unwarranted physical harm, and the Justice Department held him responsible.”
“Kentucky lawmen and women are among the finest in the nation,” said U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman “But when they cross a clear line, as did Mr. Dukes, they will be held accountable like any other citizen of our Commonwealth.”
He was sentenced to to 42 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release.