Two Louisiana police officers have pleaded guilty to using excessive force after dash-camera video showed the officers pummeling a driver who led police on a chase two years ago.
Former Lake Charles Police officers Jared Hebert and Robert Hammac both pleaded guilty to counts of deprivation of rights under color of law when a high-speed police chase ended with a brutal beating May 8, 2017, according to NBC affiliate KPLC.
Hebert entered his misdemeanor plea in federal court Tuesday, and Hammac entered his felony plea August 15.
The court dates stem from an incident May 8, 2017, which former Police Chief Don Dixon observed, KPLC reported.
Lake Charles Police video of the incident showed the chase ending and several officers rushing to the unidentified driver’s car to pull him out.
A female cop and another male officer arrived to the driver’s car first, opened his door and tried to pull him out, according to the video.
It wasn’t long before four other officers joined in.
The 1-minute video then showed an officer KPLC identified as Hammac getting inside the car and throwing at least 12 punches.
Later, Hebert, whom KPLC also identified, was seen sliding across the hood of the car to beat the driver with a night stick.
The police encounter started with a traffic stop.
It was about 4:35 a.m. when the driver traveling on I-10 east “began to suddenly switch lanes,” according to an incident report KPLC obtained.
Hammac was driving nearby and the driver’s quick change forced him into the road’s emergency shoulder, authorities said in the report.
At that point, officers on the scene attempted to pull the driver over but the driver “refused to stop,” so one of the cops informed dispatchers, according to the report.
The chase attracted several units and sent officers following the driver off of the interstate, through nearby business parking lots, back on the interstate and again off, before they were able to lay down spike strips to slow the car down, police said in the report.
At one point in the 12-mile chase, the pursuit got up to about 114 miles per hour, police said.
At another point, the driver hit a raised concrete curb on an exit ramp, causing his two front tires to began deflating.
But it wasn’t until officers attempted the last of five PIT maneuvers, that the driver’s car spun out and hit Hammac’s vehicle head on.
That ended the chase, and what happened next landed two of the involved officers in court.
Hebert’s sentencing is set for Dec. 3, and Hammac faces a maximum term of 10 years and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced by U.S. Judge James D. Cain Jr. on Nov. 14, KPLC reported.