A former Florida sheriff's deputy could face 10 years in prison after a federal grand jury indicted him for alleged civil rights violations in the videotaped beating of a man by deputies during a 2014 arrest, authorities said.
Former Marion County Deputy Jesse Alan Terrell, 33, was indicted Wednesday on charges of violating civil rights by using excessive force during an arrest in the August 2014 incident.
The state attorney's office released the dramatic surveillance camera video at the heart of the investigation on Wednesday.
Terrell's attorney, Charles Holloman, told NBC station WESH of Orlando that his client will plead not guilty.
Four other former deputies seen in the video — James Louis Amidei, Trevor Wade Fitzgerald, Adam Ray Crawford and Cody Hoppel — resigned and pleaded guilty last year and await sentencing in federal court.
The indictment, returned in U.S. District Court in Tampa, accuses Terrell of repeatedly striking, kneeing and kicking the suspect in his head, neck and shoulders. Federal court documents don't name the suspect, but the Marion County Sheriff's Office identified him as Derrick Price, whom deputies had been seeking on a drug-related arrest warrant.
Lauren Lettelier, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, said the video was uncovered during an internal use-of-force review four days after the Aug. 7, 2014, confrontation. All five deputies were immediately suspended, and Sheriff Chris Blair requested a state investigation. The U.S. Justice Department joined the investigation shortly thereafter.
The video shows Price, who is listed in court documents as 44 years old, apparently trying to surrender peacefully. He runs into a parking lot, puts his hands in the air and lies prone on the ground.
The deputies are then seen jumping out of a truck and descending on Price with their hands, knees and boots. The sheriff's office called their behavior "abusive" and "unprofessional."
Blair declared that the former deputies "violated the oath of office they took to serve and protect our citizens and have compromised the integrity of the badge," but he urged county residents not to "let the actions of the few define the actions of all."
"We have 700-plus employees who have dedicated themselves to our community, and they will remain steadfast in their mission to serve Marion County citizens with honor and protect them with pride," he said in a statement Wednesday.
Price, who was initially charged with nine drug-related counts and a count of resisting an officer without violence, was released two days after the incident. The drug charges are pending, according to Marion County court records, while the charge of resisting an officer was dropped.