Huntsville officer federally indicted for 2011 excessive force a - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Breaking

Huntsville officer federally indicted for 2011 excessive force arrest

Brett Russell (Source: Facebook) Brett Russell (Source: Facebook)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A Huntsville police officer has been federally indicted for using excessive force during a 2011 arrest.

Brett M. Russell was indicted four years after the arrest, according to Acting Attorney General Vanita Gupta of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, and FBI Special Agent Roger C. Stanton. 

Brett M. Russell, 48, is accused of assaulting a man during an arrest on Dec. 23, 2011 and depriving him of his constitutional right not to be subjected to excessive force by someone acting "under code of law." The indictment also states that Russell obstructed justice by making false statements and concealing information in the incident report he filed on the arrest. 

"We are fully committed to investigating and prosecuting where appropriate, the use of excessive force by law enforcement officers," Vance said. 

In the indictment, the victim is identified as "G.H." The indictment also states that Russell falsely stated in his report that G.H. kicked at the officer, attempted to head-butt officers while they transported him to Russell's vehicle, that he was told to stop resisting several times but would not comply and that he was transported "without incident" to the Huntsville Metro Jail. 

The indictment states that Russell failed to report that he "had struck G.H with is first and kneed G.H. in the body."

The City of Huntsville issued a statement regarding Russell's indictment: 

“The history of the case is public and the City took the action it deemed appropriate in 2012 when it terminated Officer Brett Russell. Upon appeal to the City Council, the officer was reinstated provided he undergo retraining, which he has done. The City is not in the position to speak for the Justice Department regarding its investigation and indictment, however, we will continue to cooperate with attorneys as appropriate in this matter.”

Russell was fired by the Huntsville Police Department in May 2012. However, in August 2012, the Huntsville City Council voted to reinstate him.

WAFF legal analyst Mark McDaniel said it's rare for the DOJ to get involved once an officer has already been reinstated. McDaniel also said not much will change for the victim once the officer is indicted.

"They won't be looking at any kind of civil allegations that involve money at all; that's out of the way," McDaniel said. "The issue is, has there been a civil rights violation, just like we had in the case recently in Madison?"

Councilman Will Culver said this is the perfect time for the city to look into new technology like body cams to benefit police and the people they serve.

The maximum penalty for deprivation for civil rights under color of law is a $250,000 fine and 10 years in prison. The maximum penalty of obstruction of justice is a $250,000 fine and 20 years in prison. 

An investigation by the Florence Resident Agency of the FBI is ongoing.

Russell's attorney is scheduled to make a statement on Friday. WAFF will keep you updated on-air and on WAFF.com.

You can watch a clip of the dash cam footage of Russell right here.

Copyright 2015 WAFF. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • College student arrested; tried to trade chicken alfredo, Sprite for sex

    College student arrested; tried to trade chicken alfredo, Sprite for sex

    Wednesday, December 13 2017 3:38 PM EST2017-12-13 20:38:04 GMT

    Youngstown State University student Albert Maruna was caught red-handed and arrested this week after he allegedly attempted to have sex with a 15-year-old boy, who turned out to be an undercover officer.  

    More >>

    Youngstown State University student Albert Maruna was caught red-handed and arrested this week after he allegedly attempted to have sex with a 15-year-old boy, who turned out to be an undercover officer.  

    More >>
  • Roy Moore responds after Senate loss to Doug Jones

    Roy Moore responds after Senate loss to Doug Jones

    Wednesday, December 13 2017 10:58 PM EST2017-12-14 03:58:33 GMT
    (Source: Moore campaign)(Source: Moore campaign)

    Roy Moore has released a statement following his loss to Senator-elect Doug Jones in Tuesday's election.  Moore released a video to the people of Alabama. The transcript is below: Tomorrow, my wife and I will celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary. I want to thank her and all my family, for standing with me through this long and arduous campaign. And of course, I want to thank all of you who have stood with me in this very important battle for the future of our country. We ...

    More >>

    Roy Moore has released a statement following his loss to Senator-elect Doug Jones in Tuesday's election.  Moore released a video to the people of Alabama. The transcript is below: Tomorrow, my wife and I will celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary. I want to thank her and all my family, for standing with me through this long and arduous campaign. And of course, I want to thank all of you who have stood with me in this very important battle for the future of our country. We ...

    More >>
  • Dan Johnson: KY State Rep. kills himself in Bullitt County

    Dan Johnson: KY State Rep. kills himself in Bullitt County

    Wednesday, December 13 2017 11:29 PM EST2017-12-14 04:29:43 GMT

    Kentucky state representative "Pope" Dan Johnson has committed suicide, days after a report surfaced alleging he assaulted a teenage girl in 2013.

    More >>

    Kentucky state representative "Pope" Dan Johnson has committed suicide, days after a report surfaced alleging he assaulted a teenage girl in 2013.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly