Birmingham Police Officer Convicted of Using Excessive Force
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 03, 2012|
BIRMINGHAM—A federal jury today convicted a Birmingham Police officer for using excessive force when he beat a handcuffed defendant in 2007, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance and FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Robert E. Haley, III.
The jury deliberated less than an hour and a half hour before finding Corey L. Hooper, 34, guilty of depriving the civil rights of Martez Gulley when he repeatedly struck the man with his hands and fists while Gulley was handcuffed and secured in the backseat of a patrol car on September 6, 2007. The jury found Hooper not guilty of a second charge of using excessive force when he fired an X26 Taser stun gun at another handcuffed defendant on August 4, 2007.
Hooper is scheduled for sentencing February 27.
“Few police officers violate their oaths to uphold the law and protect the public, but those who do must be held accountable, as this defendant was today,” Vance said. “I thank the FBI for its hard work compiling the evidence in this case. This was the district’s first civil rights trial since my office formed a Civil Rights Enforcement Unit to expand the office’s work in enforcing civil rights laws. We are committed to aggressive civil rights enforcement.”
“Police officers who abuse their authority undermine the dedicated men and women who put their lives on the line every day,” Haley said. “The sentence handed down today sends the right message to those in law enforcement who would engage in such conduct.”
A federal jury indicted Hooper in July on the charges of depriving the civil rights of the two individuals while acting under his authority as a police officer. The two incidents occurred in 2007 while Hooper was a Birmingham officer. He is still employed with the Birmingham Police Department.
Hooper could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The FBI investigated the case, which is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Patton Meadows.