DOLTON | A Dolton police officer was convicted in federal court Thursday on charges he used excessive force on two people leaving a nightclub in May 2009.
Kevin Fletcher, 35, of South Holland, was convicted on two counts of violating the victims' civil right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer. He could face up to 10 years in prison and have to pay $250,000 for each count, according to a news release.
The incident happened about 2 a.m. May 17, 2009, as people were leaving Mr. Ricky's 141 Club. Michael McPherson and Laurence Williams were among the people in the crowd exiting the club.
McPherson and Williams cursed at Fletcher, who then began hitting them on the head with his baton, according to the release. Fletcher didn't arrest the men and left the scene after hitting them.
A video of the incident was shown in court during the trial.
McPherson and Williams received staples to close their head wounds.
Fletcher was originally also charged with obstruction of justice after he allegedly threatened the police chief who provided records to a federal grand jury. The charge was dismissed before the trial started.
He has worked for the Dolton Police Department since October 2006 and remained on paid administrative leave as of Thursday afternoon.
The department released a statement stating, "The Dolton Police Department's role is to preserve order and to serve and protect the people of Dolton. The unfortunate incident surrounding the investigation of Officer Fletcher occurred under a previous administration. The new administration still has to get familiar with the particulars of the case. So, we have no comment at this time."
Fletcher's sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 16.