Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
By Shaiann Frazier

Two police officers in Elkhart, Indiana, have been indicted for allegedly beating a handcuffed man.

A federal grand jury on Thursday indicted officers Cory Newland and Joshua Titus of for allegedly using excessive force against a suspect in January 2018, according to a U.S. Justice Department press release.

The officers' alleged assault of Mario Ledesma was captured on CCTV footage, which shows the suspect spitting on Newland. Shortly afterward, both officers can be seen repeatedly punching the man, after which he was wheeled out of the station on a stretcher.

"The indictment alleges that Newland and Titus then repeatedly struck M.L. in the face, causing him to fall backwards onto the floor, at which point Newland and Titus continued to punch him repeatedly while M.L. remained handcuffed on the floor," the press release states.

Ledesma had been arrested on domestic violence charges to which he later pleaded guilty.

Special Agent Grant Mendenhall said in the press release, "Today’s indictments send a clear message that the FBI won’t tolerate the abuse of power or victimization of citizens by anyone in law enforcement."

Newland and Titus were each charged with a single count of deprivation of rights for a use of unreasonable force against Ledesma. The charges carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

NBC News reached out to the Elkhart Police Department for comment but did not immediately hear back.

Elkhart County prosecutors had originally charged the officers with misdemeanor battery in November, after the South Bend Tribune and nonprofit news organization ProPublica learned of the incident and requested video, according to the South Bend Tribune.

Those charges are still pending, with Titus scheduled for a May trial in Elkhart Superior Court, the Tribune reported. Newland is set for a round of negotiations with prosecutors in April over a possible plea agreement, the paper said.

NBC News was not able to immediately reach Titus or Newland or lawyers representing them for comment.

Edward Merchant, a lawyer representing Titus, gave a statement reported by the Tribune.

"Police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments — in circumstances that are tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving — about the amount of force that is necessary in situations where officers are forced to defend themselves and others against harm," the officer's lawyer said.