CHICAGO | A former Dolton police officer was sentenced to more than six years in federal prison Friday for his role in the 2009 beating of two men outside a nightclub.
Kevin Fletcher, 36, of South Holland, was sentenced Friday to 75 months on two counts of violating the victims' civil rights. Video surveillance recordings shown in court captured most of the beatings.
"There was only one person who was out of control that night and that was Mr. Fletcher," U.S. District Judge Elaine Bucklo said during Friday's sentencing.
Bucklo said she weighed Fletcher's anger the night of the beatings, his lying while testifying at trial and expressing no contrition in her decision.
At 2 a.m. May 17, 2009, Fletcher and other officers were working crowd control outside the former Mr. Ricky's 141 Club as it and other Chicago Avenue bars near 141st Street were closing. Fletcher used an expandable metal police baton to strike two victims — Michael McPherson and Laurence Williams — once each in the head.
The jury found both victims suffered bodily injury and the evidence showed both required hospital treatment and staples to close their head wounds.
U.S. attorneys argued at trial that Fletcher was offended by the victims cursing at him as he told them to leave the area and then abused his authority by striking them each over the head with his baton to "teach them a lesson."
Fletcher made no effort or attempt to arrest either victim and left after hitting them without performing or calling for medical aid, the U.S. attorney's office said.
Fletcher and both victims testified at trial.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Megan Cunniff Church argued at sentencing that Fletcher "had used lethal force against two unarmed victims who had merely mouthed off to him."
"With each of these baton strikes, (Fletcher) gave the community reason to doubt law enforcement, reason to challenge its authority, reason to believe that law enforcement cannot be trusted," Church said. "He inflicted violence into the community that he had sworn to protect."