Highland Park, Michigan, Police Officer Indicted on Civil Rights Charges

Brenda Stevenson, an officer with the city of Highland Park, Mich., Police Department, was indicted today by a federal grand jury in Detroit on charges of using unlawful and excessive force and making a false statement to an FBI agent.

The indictment charges that Stevenson, 45, while acting as a sergeant with the Highland Park Police Department, willfully used excessive force when she struck and assaulted an individual identified in the indictment only as "V.B." The indictment also alleges that the defendant caused bodily injury to V.B. and that she later made false statements to an FBI agent investigating the incident.

Stevenson faces up to 15 years of prison and a fine of up to $500,000. An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Detroit Field Office and is being prosecuted by Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Karima Maloney and Assistant U.S. Attorney Pamela Thompson for the Eastern District of Michigan.