Ex-KPD officers face Aug. 8 hearing, potential probation in homeless man's beating -- Knoxville News Sentinel
In a deal to avoid federal prosecution, three former Knoxville Police Department officers on Monday pleaded guilty to state charges for beating, stomping and kicking a handcuffed, hogtied, mentally ill man.
Former officers Chris Whitfield, 28, Jeremy Jinnett, 31, and Ty Compton, 26, pleaded guilty in Knox County Criminal Court to a misdemeanor charge of assault and a felony charge of official oppression in the Feb. 9 attack on Michael Allen Mallicoat, 30.
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The probes were kept quiet until the News Sentinel received a tip about the beating — in which Mallicoat suffered three broken ribs and a punctured lung, among other injuries — and tracked down a witness and Mallicoat’s attorney, Cullen Wojcik. Rausch confirmed two separate probes were under way in an interview with the News Sentinel on March 3.
The ex-officers said little during Monday’s hearing, replying only “Guilty, Your Honor,” when asked by Sword to enter their pleas.
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The trio’s actions were captured on in-cruiser video down to the spray of blood onto the windshield of a cruiser as Compton pounded a handcuffed Mallicoat’s head against the hood of the car. Audio recordings accompanying that video also captured the officers threatening to continue their attack on Mallicoat even as a hogtied Mallicoat could be heard moaning in pain and asking Jinnett, who stood on Mallicoat’s back, to get off.
Rausch later Monday announced various disciplinary actions against other officers who failed to intervene, lied in use of force reports and in interviews with investigators or themselves used excessive force. Also disciplined: Three supervisors who did not bother to review all of the available in-cruiser video before approving the officers’ actions.
The incident began just before noon in a residential neighborhood in North Knoxville. Residents had phoned E-911 after Mallicoat, who suffers from mental illness and was intoxicated, kept shouting as he wandered through the neighborhood.