Maryland Police Officer Indicted in District of Columbia on Federal Charges of Excessive Force and Witness Tampering

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

            WASHINGTON – Officer Philip Dupree, 38, formerly of the Fairmount Heights Police Department in Maryland, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of violating a man’s civil rights and obstruction of justice. Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves of the District of Columbia, and Special Agent in Charge Wayne A. Jacobs of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement.

            The indictment alleges that during the early morning hours of Aug. 4, 2019, Dupree was on duty as a Fairmont Heights Police Officer when he conducted a traffic stop in the District of Columbia. Dupree allegedly detained a man identified as T.S. and then deployed pepper spray in an unreasonable use of force against him. Dupree allegedly obstructed justice by submitting a probable cause statement that offered a false justification for his use of force on T.S.

           The indictment was returned in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Dupree faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for his alleged use of unreasonable force. The obstruction of justice charge carries with it a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. If convicted, a federal district court judge would determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

            The case is being investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Sanjay Patel of the Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Rakoczy of the District of Columbia.

            The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.