Home Buffalo Press Releases 2010 Former City of Tonawanda Police Captain Sentenced for Color of Law Violation

Former City of Tonawanda Police Captain Sentenced for Color of Law Violation

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 03, 2010
  • Western District of New York (716) 843-5700

BUFFALO—United States Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. and United States Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez of the Civil Rights Division announced today that former City of Tonawanda Police Captain James G. Litz has been sentenced to 24 months' probation and fined $10,000 for assaulting and choking a victim on June 21, 2003, while the victim was in the rear of a City of Tonawanda Police vehicle.

On April 23, 2010, Litz pleaded guilty to depriving the victim of his civil rights while acting under color of law. The plea agreement detailed that the government had evidence of other incidents involving different victims occurring in 2005 and 2009, consisting of the defendant poking one victim in the shoulder multiple times and violently twisting the victim's arm, grabbing and choking another victim for a lengthy period of time who had happened to be at the scene of an arrest of a different individual, and striking a victim in the face with a closed fist while the victim was restrained on the ground.

This case was investigated by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Robertson. The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Trini Ross and Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Shan Patel.

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