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Former LCPD officer pleads guilty to excessive force charge

Former LCPD officer pleads guilty to excessive force charge
Posted at 12:18 PM, Aug 15, 2019

A former Lake Charles Police officer has pleaded guilty to using excessive force against a person he was arresting.

Robert Hammac, 45, pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of deprivation of rights under color of law.

According to documents filed today, Hammac was involved in a vehicle pursuit of a person in May 2017.

After the car stopped, the driver raised his hands in the air, indicating surrender. Other officers ordered the man to get out of the car and began pulling him out. However, before the man could exit, Hammac ran to the passenger side door, grabbed the man, pulled him back into the car and punched him repeatedly with a closed fist. The man wasn't resisting in any way, nor was he posing a threat, records indicate.

“Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe,” said U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph. “The vast majority of law enforcement officers perform their difficult and dangerous duties with integrity and courage. However, law enforcement officers who betray the badge and the public’s trust, as the defendant did here, also dishonor their profession and their fellow officers. This behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in the Western District of Louisiana.”

Hammac faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a $250,000 fine. The court set sentencing for Nov. 14.

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 are prosecuting the case.