A former Alabama sheriff’s deputy was charged with a federal civil rights offense after using excessive force against an individual already handcuffed according to an unsealed indictment.
The indictment was unsealed by a grand jury in Montgomery on Friday. Blake Hicks, 33, is the former Elmore County sheriff’s deputy being charged with the federal crime. Specifically, Hicks is facing one count of deprivation of rights under the color of law for willfully using excessive force against a handcuffed arrestee.
The arrestee is identified as just T.Q. according to the indictment. Hicks is alleged to have punched and kicked T.Q. in the head, or around the head, while T.Q. was lying on the ground handcuffed causing injuries to the vulnerable arrestee.
“[Hicks] while acting under color of law, willfully deprived T.Q., a person known to the Grand Jury, of the right, secured and protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States, to be free from
unreasonable searches and seizures, which includes the right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by one acting under color of law,” the indictment stated. “Specifically, while T.Q. was handcuffed and lying on the ground, BLAKE HICKS, without legal justification, punched and kicked T.Q. in or near the head. The offense resulted in bodily injury to T.Q.”
Hicks could be incarcerated for up to 10 years in prison if convicted but the exact sentence is still to be determined by a federal judge.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Counts for the Middle District of Alabama, Trial Attorney Laura-Kate Bernstein and Special Litigation Counsel Michael J. Songer of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section.
In August, another former Alabama sheriff’s deputy was sentenced for sexually assaulting a woman in his custody. Joshua Davidson, a former deputy sheriff with Dallas County, was sentenced to 12 and a half years in prison for the sexual assault.