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Tallahassee Criminal Attorney > Blog > Criminal > Former Hendry County Police Officer Faces Federal Charges for Excessive Force

Former Hendry County Police Officer Faces Federal Charges for Excessive Force


A former Hendry County police officer is facing federal charges for excessive force and falsifying police records. During a news conference at the federal courthouse in Ft. Myers, authorities announced charges against 29-year-old Tyler Williams. The deputy could face up to 30 years in prison if he is convicted.

The incident occurred on July 4, 2023. Bodycam footage shows the officer detaining a suspect in Hendry County. The man can be seen handcuffed and leaning against the patrol car. The video shows Williams slamming the man to the ground. Because his hands were cuffed behind his back, the man could not brace his fall. His chin struck the cement, and he was knocked unconscious. At that point, the deputy can be seen standing over the man yelling at him as he lies motionless on the ground. On the incident report, Williams claimed that he feared that the suspect had a weapon. Authorities determined that Williams lied and at no point felt any threat from the victim.

Williams served as a Fort Myers deputy for 7 years. He was fired from the force in 2021 after an unrelated incident that occurred during a traffic stop. In that case, Williams pulled over a vehicle for speeding. He spotted drugs near the driver’s toddler but failed to report the incident to the Florida Department of Children and Family Services. The woman was later involved in a traffic accident during which her toddler died. Williams was fired from the force after it was determined that he violated four department policies including failing to report the woman for endangering the welfare of her child.

Federal charges related to police brutality 

Often, officers are charged under federal law for infractions involving the public. These infractions occur in the line of duty. Such crimes are prosecuted under 18. U.S.C. §§ 241, 242. Please note that these are different from civil cases that are filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

Under the criminal statute, it is a crime for an individual acting under color of law to willfully deprive or conspire to deprive a citizen of any right protected by the U.S. Constitution or laws of the United States. “Under color of law” means that the defendant is abusing power assigned to him by a government agency. The types of misconduct covered under the state include excessive force, sexual assault, intentional false arrests, theft, and the intentional fabrication of evidence resulting in a loss of liberty to a citizen.

In the case mentioned above, the officer is accused of intentionally injuring a citizen who was not a threat to him and then fabricating evidence of a threat. The man was handcuffed at the time the officer body-slammed him to the pavement. This resulted in serious injury. This is illegal under federal law, so the officer is facing federal charges.

Contact a Tallahassee Federal Criminal Defense Attorney Today 

Criminal charges can be pursued by both the State of Florida and the federal government. If you are facing federal charges, you will need an attorney who has experience defending clients in federal court. The rules of procedure are different there. Experience matters. Contact Tallahassee criminal defense lawyer Luke Newman today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.



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