JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A former Mississippi police officer has pleaded guilty to using excessive force against a man during a 2018 vehicle stop and arrest, federal prosecutors said.
Daniel Starks, of Meridian, entered the plea Tuesday in federal court. He was accused of shoving the victim twice as he was getting handcuffed by another officer and then unlawfully used his taser, even though the man was compliant and handcuffed, according to court documents and statements made in court. As a result of the tasing, the victim fell to the ground. While there, Starks pointed the taser at him and demanded that he stand up or else he would be tased again.
“Law enforcement officials who violate people’s federal civil rights are not above the law. This defendant is being held accountable for exceeding his authority and his power when he violated the victim’s civil rights,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division said in a news release.
“This defendant chose to violate his duty and the law, the very law he swore to uphold, by his wanton and violent act against the victim," said Acting U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca for the Southern District of Mississippi. "Justice is served.”
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Oct. 26. Starks faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.