Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Three Former Knoxville Police Officers Plea Guilty For Beating Homeless Man

Michael Allen Mallicoat (victim), former Knoxville Police Officers Jeremy Jinnett, Ty Compton and Chris Whitfield

At least 10 Knoxville police officers, including three supervisors involved in cover-up in the beating of a homeless man.

By H. Nelson Goodson
June 12, 2013

Knoxville, Tennessee - On Monday, Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch announced, an internal investigation determined that four officers and three supervisors have been disciplined for attempting to cover-up details by being "willfully blind and deceitful" when filing reports for a February 9th arrest and beating of Michael Allen Mallicoat, 30. 
Three other officers, Jeremy Jinnett, Ty Compton and Chris Whitfield pleaded guilty on Monday to misdemeanor assault and one count of felony oppression in Mallicoat's beating.
In February, police received a call of a man walking along the 1300 block of Grainger Ave. acting agressively, yelling and taking his clothes off as he walked. Officers Haley Starr and Cynthia LeeAnn DeMarcus were the first to arrive at the scene. They struggled with Mallicoat while trying to handcuff him and were unable to subdue him. Starr injured her hand in the incident while punching Mallicoat multiple times before backup arrived.
Then Officers Jinnett, Compton and Whitfield arrived at the scene to help subdue Mallicoat. They were able to handcuffed and hogtied Mallicoat. Officer Compton managed to slam Mallicoat's head several times on the hood of a squad, Jinnett jumped on Mallicoat's back and Whitfield allegedly kicked Mallicoat eights times while handcuffed. 
Officer Nicholas Ferro who arrived at the scene also managed to pounced on Mallicoat's shackled legs several times, while cursing and threatening the victim when it wasn't warranted. Officer Richard Derrick White is accused of assaulting Mallicoat with a kneedrop and turning of his microphone to block profanities targeted at Mallicoat by Jinnett.
When the officers filed their reports, they attempted to cover-up what had transpired and supervisors, Captain Eve Thomas, Lieutenant Brad Anders and Sergeant John Sheldon accepted the reports without actually reviewing video cameras from four squad cars that revealed the officers were deceitful about reporting the use of force while arresting Mallicoat.
The whole Mallicoat beating and arrest incident took 26 minutes. Mallicoat was taken to the Knox county jail, but booking officers wouldn't accept Mallicoat due to his injuries and was transported to a hospital. Mallicoat suffered broken ribs, a punctured lung and other injuries.
Officers Jinnett, Compton and Whitfield later resigned from the department and will be sentenced on August 8. They are facing up to one year in jail and probation under a plea agreement.
Officer Starr was suspended for 18 days without pay and DeMarcus was suspended for 12 days without pay, both for not stopping fellow officers from beating Mallicoat after he was handcuffed and no longer a threat. DeMarcus was also found to be deceitful in her report.
Officer Ferro was suspended without pay for 12 days for his involvement and Officer White was suspended without pay for 6 days in relation to the incident. 
Capt. Thomas received an oral reprimand and both Lt. Anders and Sgt. Sheldon were given written reprimands, according to Chief Rausch.
Mallicoat acquired an attorney and is planning to file a lawsuit against the officers for violating his civil rights.

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