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Friday, November 4, 2011

Cop Charged With Obstruction and Civil Rights Violations

Dolton cop charged with civil rights violations, obstruction
The Chicago Tribune - WGN Radio by Steve Schmadeke - November 1, 2011

DOLTON, ILLINOIS - A Dolton police officer was arrested Tuesday and charged with “unlawfully” striking two people in the head and later threatening to hurt the town’s police chief for cooperating with a federal investigation into the assaults. Patrol officer Kevin Fletcher, 34, of South Holland, has been on desk duty since 2009 after allegations of a civil-rights violation, said Dolton spokeswoman TaQuoya Kennedy. He was not arrested at work, she said. Fletcher pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two counts of violating civil rights by using excessive force and one count of obstruction of justice. He was released on a $15,000 secured bond, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. On May 17, 2009, Fletcher was allegedly acting as a police officer when he struck two Calumet City residents in the head with a law-enforcement-style baton, according to an indictment made public Tuesday. Less than a year later, he allegedly “threatened to cause bodily injury” to then-Chief Robert Fox for turning over records to a grand jury investigating the civil-rights violations and providing information to the FBI, the indictment says. The south suburb has “fully cooperated” during the investigation, Kennedy said. “We recognize that the misfortune falls upon the officer, but it also falls upon the community and the entire police force,” Kennedy said in an email. “We will continue to do all that we can to help resolve this matter.” The department has had issues with officers using excessive force. During the same month Fletcher allegedly struck two people, another Dolton police officer, Christopher Lloyd, was caught on camera allegedly breaking a special-needs student’s nose because the 15-year-old boy hadn’t tucked in his shirt. Lloyd was fired after the incident, officials said at the time.

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