MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A former law enforcement officer who found himself on the wrong side of the law has been sentenced to prison after being convicted of beating a handcuffed arrestee, according to U.S. Attorney Louis Franklin, Jr.
Alex Huntley, 54, will spend three years in prison following an incident that happened on Christmas Eve 2014.
Huntley was a lieutenant with the Tuskegee Police Department when he arrested a man near the Tuskegee town square that holiday eve.
The suspect had been in a scuffle with police, and after he was taken into custody by Huntley, the lieutenant told another officer to take him back to the police department for booking, according to evidence shared at trial.
Back at the police station, the situation deteriorated with Huntley pepper spraying the suspect in the face despite the arrestee being in handcuffs and compliant with police commands.
Huntley then took the arrestee inside the police station where evidence indicates he threw the still-handcuffed arrestee to the ground then stomped, kicked and punched him.
Franklin’s office said that in between blows, the officer stood over the unnamed arrestee and yelled threats at him as the man screamed in pain.
A police officer recruit witnessed the beating and was said to be so horrified at what he was seeing that he secretly recorded audio of the assault on his cell phone, then turned it over to federal authorities.
“The vast majority of our police officers are dedicated to protecting and serving the public with strength, courage, and valor. Unfortunately, Mr. Huntley was not so dedicated,” Franklin said. “Police officers have an increasingly difficult job. This office will strive to support our law enforcement brothers and sisters, but will also prosecute those law enforcement officers who abandon their oath to protect and serve and chose to engage in criminal conduct that they are sworn to oppose.”
“Lady Justice wears a blindfold for a reason, and a violation of someone’s civil rights by a sworn law enforcement officer cannot be tolerated. The FBI will continue to pursue these types of cases with all available resources,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge James Jewell.
“This defendant abused his police powers by beating a restrained man in his custody,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore. “The Department will not tolerate such abuses, and will continue to vigorously enforce our nation’s laws and hold officers who break the law accountable.”
The FBI investigated the case with help from the Alabama State Bureau of Investigation.
On June 8, Huntley was convicted by a federal jury on a single count of violating an individual’s civil rights resulting in bodily injury.
In addition to his prison sentence, Franklin’s office says the former officer will also have three years of supervised release.