Tennessee Officers Face Federal Civil Rights Charges


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GILES COUNTY, TN – Two Tennessee law enforcement officers from Lawrence County are facing federal civil rights and obstruction charges in connection with their alleged use of excessive force during the arrest of a 61-year-old man. 

The Justice Department revealed that a federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment  Tuesday against Sheriff’s Investigator Zach Ferguson and Deputy Eric Caperton.

According to the indictment, the incident on October 5, 2020, in Giles County, Tennessee. Ferguson and Caper-ton, in a joint effort, threw the victim, identified as C.J., to the ground and struck him multiple times in the head without a legitimate law enforcement reason, resulting in bodily injury to C.J. The indictment further accuses both officers of attempting to cover up their misconduct by filing a false use of force report that omitted crucial details of the arrest.

If convicted, Ferguson and Caperton could face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for the excessive force charge and up to 20 years for obstruction. Additionally, they may be subject to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.

The FBI Memphis Field Office led the investigation, with Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney Henry C. Leventis for the Middle District of Tennessee making the announcement.


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