Dash cam video leads to guilty pleas for 3 KPD officers

10:17 PM, Jun 10, 2013   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

Video released by the Knoxville Police Department Monday shows officers stomping, kicking, and standing on a hogtied homeless man after responding to a call last February.

Three former Knoxville Police Department officers pleaded guilty on Monday afternoon to misdemeanor assault and official oppression.

As part of the plea, federal officials will not prosecute Officers Chris Whitfield, Jeremy Jinnett and Ty Compton, but all three can never serve in law enforcement again.

"They will no longer be police officers. Their profession is done in law enforcement," said Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch.

When faced with the option of taking a deal from the Knox County district attorney or face trial in federal court, the officers accepted the plea deal.

"That has sealed their fate for the future," said Rausch.

The chief played the dash-cam videos used in the investigation for media Monday afternoon. Officers Haley Starr and Cynthia Demarcus are the first to respond to calls from witnesses who report seeing a man walking down the road yelling and taking off his clothes.

They found Michael Allen Mallicoat in the area of Grainger Avenue and Luttrell Road and ordered him to "take a seat."

Mallicoat resisted and the officers can be heard struggling with him. Eventually, according to Rausch, they got him on the ground but couldn't get him to put both hands behind his back. Two minutes into the video Officer Ty Compton's dash-cam activates and he can be seen driving to the scene. Officer James Whitfield and Jeremy Jinnett arrived shortly after.

By the time back-up arrived, officer reports of the incident state Mallicoat was in handcuffs.

They arrested Mallicoat for disorderly conduct, public intoxication, and resisting arrest.

After Mallicoat was handcuffed, an off-camera officer slammed him repeatedly into the hood of one of the cruisers. The internal affairs report identifies the officer as Compton.

Mallicoat was screaming and then another officer yelled "there's blood all over the f****** car."

The officers hogtied Mallicoat and about six minutes into the video you can see Officer Compton carry Mallicoat over to the sidewalk by his hands and feet and drop him.

According the internal affairs report, Officer Jinnett then punched the homeless man three to four times.

Jinnett also allegedly stated to Mallicoat; "Let me tell you something you son of a b****, you're lucky there's people out here or I would f*** you up right now." According to the report he also turned off his microphone before threatening to sexually assault Mallicoat.

"It's just completely in appropriate," said Rausch of the officers' comments in general. "Quite frankly, I can't even comprehend why some of those comments were made."

The report also states that Officers Starr and Demarcus denied seeing some of the abuse, despite being in close proximity with an unobstructed view.

From the time KPD first made contact with Mallicoat, to the time the dash-cam video ends and Mallicoat leaves, the frame is about 30 minutes.

Then, Rausch says, the officers took the man to jail. The chief says Mallicoat didn't complain about his injuries until arriving. The jail turned him away in favor of sending him to the hospital and Mallicoat was treated for a punctured lung, cuts, and several broken ribs.

Judge Sword will schedule the sentencing date for the three officers, which is tentatively set for August 8. The sentence for simple-assault is 11 months and 29 days, and official-oppression has a one-year sentence. All three former officers applied for probation, but no decision has been reached.

Chief David B. Rausch said four other officers will also receive internal discipline such as demotions, suspension and training.

Officers Demarcus and Starr are both been accused of failing to protect their prisoner and will go several weeks without pay.

Officers Nicolas Ferro and Derrick White, who were also present for some of the incident in question, are facing disciplinary action for unnecessary force. They will also go several days without pay.

Captain Eve Thomas, Lieutenant Brad Anders and Sergeant John Shelton were all supervisors accused of failing to properly review all of the dash-cam video when investigating the officers' use of force. They were issued written reprimands.

Mallicoat has a lawyer, but has not filed a lawsuit at this time. The lawyer told 10News they were waiting for the outcome of the criminal case. They said if the city does not offer some type of settlement, they plan to file suit in federal court for violation of civil rights.

Most Watched Videos