Sentencing hearing set for Huntsville officer guilty of violating civil rights, hiding it

Sentencing hearing set for Huntsville officer guilty of violating civil rights, hiding it

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - There will be a sentencing hearing November 10 at 9:30 a.m. for the Huntsville officer found guilty of violating civil rights and covering it up.

The sentencing hearing will be a the federal courthouse in Huntsville.

Russell was found guilty Thursday on charges he violated civil rights of a suspect in custody and tried to cover it up.

He is charged with using excessive force and obstruction of justice.

In 2012, Russell was suspended from the Huntsville Police Department for using excessive force. Authorities said Russell repeatedly punched and kicked a suspect with a closed fist during an arrest an yanked a woman out of a car and threw her to the ground during a traffic stop.

Russell responded to a domestic violence call December 23,2011 and arrested Gary Wayne Hopkins for beating his wife in front of his children. While in police custody, Hopkins began kicking officers and even broke out the window of a police car. While Hopkins was handcuffed and subdued, a dashcam video shows Russell punching and kicking him. Hopkins was so badly injured the jail would not take him until he had been treated at Huntsville Hospital.

READ MORE: Brett Russell coverage

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

In May, Russell pleaded not guilty to the 2011 charges.

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