A former Lake Charles Police Department officer was sent to prison for usin excessive force.
Robert Hammac, 44, now of Lucedale, Miss., was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison followed by a year of suervised release. He pleaded guilty in August to one count deprivation of rights under color of law.
According to court documents, Hammac was involved in a vehicle pursuit on May 8, 2017, for several miles. The car was brought to a stop, and the victim, identified in court documents as G.T., raised his hands in the air in a manner indicating surrender. Other officers then ordered G.T. out of the car and began pulling him out of the car. Hammac ran to the front passenger side door, opened it, grabbed G.T. before he could exit, pulled him back into the car, and repeatedly punched G.T.’s head with a closed fist. The victim was not resisting in any way or posing a threat.
The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamilla Bynog of the Western District of Louisiana and Trial Attorney Mary J. Hahn of the Civil Rights Division prosecuted the case.
“Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe and we at the Department of Justice have their backs,” said U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph. “However, those officers who betray the badge and the public’s trust, as the defendant did here, dishonor their profession and endanger the safety of their fellow officers. We will not tolerate police brutality in the Western District of Louisiana.”
“Officers who deprive individuals of their civil rights will not be tolerated,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband for the Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice is committed to upholding and defending the constitutional rights of victims, as shown by today’s sentencing.”
“The judge's decision today reinforces the FBI's commitment that civil rights and color of law violations will not be tolerated,” said Special Agent in Charge Bryan A. Vorndran of the FBI New Orleans Field Office. “Former Lake Charles Officer Robert Hammac abused his position of trust and the authority handed-down to him to protect the members of the public. Law enforcement officers and correctional officers acting under the color of law must ensure a person's civil rights are not violated. The FBI New Orleans Field Office, along the U.S. Attorney’s Office, will continue to uphold the constitution and protect the rights of all persons within U.S. territories.”