Ohio cop, Robert Wells, entered a guilty plea Wednesday for kicking a handcuffed suspect in the head back in May 1st. He was federally charged with deprivation of rights under color of law in relation to the use of force case. Cellphone video shows the Franklin Township officer kicking an 18-year-old suspect while the man was on the ground. Wells later resigned.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced charges against 49-year-old Wells Thursday afternoon in a news conference. Wells resigned on May 6th, 5 days after the recorded incident. He’s accused of unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer that resulted in bodily injury. Wells also has an additional charge of making false and misleading statements in his arrest report in order to cover up using excessive force.
In the contradictory and revealing video, Wells walks onto the scene and kicks 18-year-old Anthony Foster in the head. At the time, Foster was already on the ground and handcuffed by another officer. The damning video was released on social media.
Foster was taken in for possession of drug paraphernalia after the May 1 chase. His family posted pictures of him with bruises on his face and back.
US Attorney Benjamin Glassman said once Wells was made aware a video existed, he tried to alter police records to cover up what happened. That warranted the additional charge.
“From my perspective when a police officer wantonly uses excessive force against a citizen obviously it hurts that particular citizen, but more than that it hurts the public and it hurts other police officers,” Glassman said. “When there’s a police officer out there – as is alleged in this case – who purposely uses excessive force to accomplish an arrest, that undermines trust.”