Former Providence, Kentucky, police Sgt. William Dukes Jr. was convicted of arresting a citizen without probable cause, according to a Monday Department of Justice press release.
Dukes arrested the victim, Jeffrey Littlepage, without knowledge that he had committed a crime, the press release stated. Prosecutors said Dukes arrested Littlepage because Littlepage repeatedly filed complaints against the sergeant.
“Police officers across the country have an important duty to protect and safeguard the rights of members of their communities,” Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore said in the press release. “Dukes did not use that authority within the boundaries of the law when he violated the 4th Amendment rights of an individual, and his actions will not be tolerated.”
A body camera video from the initial arrest of Littlepage in 2017 shows Dukes pulling over the victim alleging that he was “running people off the road.” Littlepage denied the allegation and reported the incident to officials. (RELATED: 5 Killed When SUV Packed With Illegal Immigrants Crashes On Texas Highway)
However, after filing multiple complaints against the officer, Littlepage was arrested by Dukes at his home in 2017. Dukes tasered him after he questioned the reason for the arrest.
The decision should be hailed as a win for civil liberty advocates, yet it was not mentioned or acknowledged by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU previously criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for weakening “DOJ’s power to investigate and sue local police departments for unconstitutional police practices,” in a 2017 tweet.
All charges against Littlepage have been dropped. Dukes’ sentencing hearing for the Friday charge will be on Sept. 13.
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