Former state trooper sentenced for excessive force

Former Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper James Carson was sentenced today to nine months in prison for violating an individual’s civil rights by using excessive force, said U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister.

Carson pleaded guilty to one count of violating civil rights in his capacity as a law enforcement officer.

In his plea, he admitted he used unreasonable force against a man he arrested, R.T.

Carson conducted a lawful arrest and then transported R.T. to the Labette County Jail, where at least five other law enforcement officials were present. As Carson removed R.T. from the patrol vehicle and escorted him into the booking area, R.T.’s hands were cuffed behind his back.

Without warning, Carson kicked the legs out from underneath R.T., causing R.T. to crash down on his back onto the floor, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. Carson admitted in court that he used force against R.T. for the purpose of punishment and not for a legitimate law enforcement purpose.

As part of the plea agreement, Carson agreed to surrender his law enforcement credentials and never again accept any employment related to law enforcement.

McAllister commended FBI, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Maag of the United States Attorney’s Office and Trial Attorney Rose Gibson of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section for their work on the case.

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