Sunday, January 04, 2009

Trooper John Sawyer Pleds Guilty to Using Excessive Force

A former South Carolina state trooper pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to using excessive force when he repeatedly kicked an arrested man in the head and neck following a high speed chase.

Ex-trooper John Sawyer pled guilty in Charleston, South Carolina, to civil rights violations for the May 2006 incident.

Sawyer was charged with causing bodily harm to Sergio Caridi.

Authorities said Caridi led troopers on a lengthy chase in a large dump truck, and the authorities had to shoot out the tires and truck engine to get him to stop.

He was dragged out of the cab and then kicked repeatedly by Sawyer, according to the guilty plea.

The videotaped incident received wide attention because it came in the wake of a second case in which a former South Carolina trooper was indicted on federal civil rights charges for an incident in which he allegedly tried to run down a black man with his cruiser.

In that case, which was also videotaped by the trooper dash camera, white ex-trooper Steve Garren was acquitted by a jury of allegations he intentionally struck the man.

The two cases were among 10 claims of excessive force by troopers that led the U.S. Attorney to form a South Carolina Task Force to review the allegations.

More Information:

Former Officer Isaac Thornton Accused of Planning to Shoot a Police Officer


A former Boston police officer has found himself on the wrong side of the law.

Isaac Thornton, 43, of Arlington, was arrested outside a club early Saturday morning, accused of planning to shoot a police officer.

Thornton was at the Dublin House at 7 Stoughton Street in Dorchester when someone overheard him say he was carrying a firearm because he was going to shoot a police officer.

Boston Police were called to the Dublin House and when they arrived, Thornton was hiding in a doorway next door.

Officers approached him, a fight ensued, and he was taken into custody.

Police discovered a firearm, a round of bullets, and a police badge in his possession.

Thornton has a past record of trouble with the law.

Back in July of 1991, he faced charges for shooting a Dorchester teen at The Gallery nightclub in Roxbury.

Thornton was cleared of all charges, but has since been terminated from the Boston Police Department.

He is being held at District B2 in Roxbury and faces several charges including unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition and carrying a loaded firearm