Civil Rights Violation Prosecuted in East Alton

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) – A former Metro-East police sergeant faces up to one year in prison after admitting in federal court that he violated a would-be burglar’s civil rights by repeatedly punching him.

One-time East Alton police officer Brent Wells pleaded guilty in East St. Louis.

Federal prosecutors say the victim was trying to break in to Wells’ home in September 2010 when the man was arrested by officers called in by the off-duty Wells.

While escorting the man in handcuffs to a police cruiser, Wells told fellow officers he was going to make the man urinate blood and then punched him several times in the kidneys.

An assistant U.S. attorney general in the Justice Department’s civil-rights division says the department will vigorously prosecute any officer who uses excessive force.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



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