Two Anchorage Police officers indicted for 2019 incident
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Two officers who were involved in a bicycle violation case that allegedly escalated in 2019 have been indicted by a grand jury in Anchorage.
Cornelius Pettus was indicted with two counts of tampering with public records and one count of interference with Constitutional rights. The indictment is in addition to assault charges that were brought against Pettus.
Another officer, Deorman Stout, was also indicted for his role in the incident for tampering with public records.
Both officers had been with the Anchorage Police Department for several years before they were placed on administrative leave without pay. Pettus joined APD as an officer in 2015 and Stout joined in 2014 as a member of the Patrol Division, APD said.
The indictment comes after Pettus approached Samuel Allen for a bicycle violation. APD said Allen was “uncooperative and left the scene.”
Pettus later contacted Allen at his residence “to issue citations” at which point APD said Pettus “used force to gain compliance” and arrest Allen.
Allen recorded the incident, which captured an exchange between the two as Pettus said he stopped Allen as he was not wearing a reflective piece of clothing.
Court documents published by Channel 2 in November state Pettus took Allen’s phone as evidence for the citation, but the audio was still recording as Allen was assaulted.
“Officer Pettus then punched Mr. Allen in the jaw and followed up the strike by kicking Mr. Allen in the groin,” court documents in the assault charge state.
Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll said Pettus and Stout’s actions have eroded the trust of the community after the indictment was announced.
“In violating the law, these individuals not only disappointed the employees they work with, they also failed the community they swore to serve,” Doll said. “In order to maintain our community’s faith and trust, it is imperative we are held to the highest standards expected of us. It is essential we earn that trust and keep that faith through transparency and accountability.”
Sgt. Jeremy Conkling, president of the Anchorage Police Department Employees Association, said the group stands behind the Pettus and Stout, noting that while they are not perfect “neither are felons.”
“As always, we stand together with our officers and the citizens of Anchorage,” Conkling said in a written statement. “We strive to serve the community in the most professional and compassionate manner possible.”
Conkling said APDEA will continue to support the two in their defense even as they “stop receiving paychecks from the Municipality of Anchorage and will face a long, difficult road in proving their innocence.”
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