- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 2, 2015

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) - A former Huntsville police officer received an 18-month prison sentence Wednesday for beating a man in custody and trying to cover it up, authorities said.

Brett Russell was sentenced in U.S. District Court on charges of violating a man’s civil rights and obstruction of justice stemming from the December 2011 confrontation. Russell beat a man who had been handcuffed and detained after a domestic violence incident and the man’s injuries required hospitalization, prosecutors have said.

Investigators have said the man used profanity toward the officer and kicked a rear window of a patrol car before officers tried putting leg shackles on him. Authorities have said the beating occurred as officers tried removing the man from the patrol vehicle. Video of the confrontation was recorded by cameras inside the patrol car (https://bit.ly/1MWUEO3).

Russell punched the man and struck a blow to his body with his knee, but those details were left out of the incident report, prosecutors have said. Russell wrote in the report that the man had tried kicking and head butting officers and investigators determined that wasn’t true.

Court records show that prosecutors had sought a 33-month sentence for Russell followed by two years of supervised release.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division helped investigate the case.

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