Gary Wayne Hopkins was viciously beaten at the hands of a sadistic Huntsville, Alabama police officer. As we previously reported, Hopkins was awarded $22,500 in damages stemming from an excessive force complaint.
Hopkins was handcuffed in the rear of a Huntsville police cruiser when he kicked out the rear window. According to a video of the incident, officers told Hopkins they were going to place him in leg shackles. The video then showed Hopkins being yanked from the vehicle and an officer kicking and beating him.
The officer involved in the beating, Brett Russell, subsequently lost his job before the city council, on appeal, overruled the decision by Police Chief Lewis Morris to fire him. The council required Russell to serve a 30-day suspension without pay as a condition of his return.
Officer Russell, who is charged with excessive force and obstruction of justice, was dealt a major blow when a fellow officer confessed in open court to his participation in the cover-up. Officer Joshua Bates was a training cadet at the time of the incident. He broke down on the stand and admitted to the court that he lied twice to Internal Affairs, lied to an FBI agent, and then lied to a federal grand jury.
He further stated that the victim was not resisting in any way, and that officer Brett Russell lied about the victim spitting on and headbutting him.
When attorneys asked Officer Bates why he didn’t help the victim, he stated he just froze up and was afraid to lose his job if he interfered.
One of the videos that jurors saw contained a clip of Officer Russell saying, “You deserve to get that ass-whooping.” An Internal Affairs investigator also stated that Officer Russell kept some of the victim’s personal property in his vehicles as “trophies.”
Prosecution rests in HPD officer’s trial
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