The Office of Special prosecution announced on Tuesday that an Anchorage Grand Jury has indicted two APD officers in connection with a September 2019 incident where a bicyclist, identified as Samual Allen, was assaulted and the other attempted to cover up the assault by tampering with public records.
The two veteran APD officers, Cornelius Pettus and Deorman Stout, were both indicted on tampering charges and in addition, Pettus was indicted for interference of Constitutional Rights. He was also charged with two counts of assault.
The indictments stem from a September 30th, 2019 incident where patrol officer Pettus stopped Allen for a bicycle violation for not wearing reflective clothing. Allen left the scene and was later re-contacted by Pettus at Allen’s residence to issue citations.
Investigators say that Pettus “used force to gain compliance.” Allen would record part of the contact on his phone’s video component, but Pettus would seize the phone as evidence. But, while the video stopped, the audio kept recording and picked up the sounds of the assault as Pettus punched Allen in the jaw followed by a kick to his groin. Allen was arrested at his residence and remanded.
APD immediately opened a use of force review and a criminal investigation was opened. At the conclusion of that investigation, the case was referred to the Alaska Department of Law. On October 11th, the Office of Special Prosecutions decided to charge the officers and they were placed on unpaid administrative leave.
APD Chief Justin Doll said in a release, “In order to maintain our community’s faith and trust, it is imperative we are held to the highest standards expected of us. It is essential we earn that trust and keep that faith through transparency and accountability.”
The APD Employees Association’s Sgt. Jeremy Conkling said that the association stands behind the officers and stated that while the officers aren’t perfect, “neither are felons.” He went on to say that the APDEA will continue to support the officers even as they ““stop receiving paychecks from the Municipality of Anchorage and will face a long, difficult road in proving their innocence.”
Chief Doll also said, “In violating the law, these individuals not only disappointed the employees they work with, they also failed the community they swore to serve. In order to maintain our community’s faith and trust, it is imperative we are held to the highest standards expected of us. It is essential we earn that trust and keep that faith through transparency and accountability.”