Plymouth Police Sergeant Shawn Coughlin, 45, was charged yesterday in federal court with using excessive force and covering up his actions by falsifying police reports, according to a press release issued by U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz' office.
Coughlin is accused of assaulting an arrested man, identified as A-1, on Nov. 19, 2011.
A-1 was in a holding cell, with his hands cuffed behind his back, when Sgt. Coughlin allegedly hit him in the head and kneed him in the body.
It is also alleged that Coughlin falsely stated in official police incident reports that A-1 “continued to resist by attempting to kick at the officers present ... while still screaming obscenities and various threats,” according to the U.S. Attorney's office.
Coughlin allegedly omitted from police reports that he had assaulted A-1.
If convicted, Coughlin faces up to 10 years in prison, to be followed by up to three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on the of the civil rights violation, and up to 20 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on the falsifying police reports charge, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.