A former Delaware officer seen on surveillance footage appearing to slam a suspect’s head against plexiglass has been indicted on multiple charges, including two felonies, officials announced Monday.
The state’s Department of Justice’s Division of Civil Rights and Public Trust secured the indictment against former Wilmington Police Officer Samuel Waters, 27, Attorney General Kathy Jennings announced in a news release.
CNN has been unable to locate an attorney for Waters.
Waters faces charges in two cases that occurred last September, according to the eight-count indictment. One of the excessive force incidents came to the department’s attention after the surveillance video went viral, according to the AG release.
The footage allegedly shows Waters at a store on September 21 forcing a man’s head to strike a plexiglass window several times during an arrest, according to the indictment.
Waters had failed to turn his body-worn camera on when he should have and allegedly lied in the official documentation of the incident, the indictment said.
The victim “was injured, suffering lacerations and bruising to their face,” according to the indictment.
The victim, identified as Dwayne Brown in a civil lawsuit he filed against Waters in October, alleges Waters never identified himself verbally as a police officer and had used a racial slur while striking him. Waters is White, Brown’s lawsuit states. It alleges excessive force, assault, battery, racial discrimination and recklessness.
Brown, a 44-year-old Black man, was “in fear for his life” during the arrest, according to the lawsuit, which seeks an award of compensatory and punitive damages.
Tactic used not taught by police department, indictment says
The other incident involving Waters occurred on September 12, according to the indictment.
In that situation, while responding to a domestic violence incident, Waters allegedly used his nightstick to repeatedly apply downward force on a suspect’s neck, according to the indictment. The person “suffered injuries to their face, including lacerations and bruising,” it said.
The tactic allegedly used by Waters is not taught to Wilmington Police Department officers, according to the department’s use of force instructor, and is considered “lethal force,” according to the indictment.
Waters was no longer with the department as of January, a WPD spokesperson told Delaware Online/The News Journal at the time.
Waters faces multiple charges over the two incidents, including felony tampering with public records and felony second-degree perjury, plus misdemeanor charges of assault in the third degree, official misconduct, and falsifying a business record, according to the indictment. The charges collectively carry a potential maximum 13-year sentence, according to the attorney general’s office.
“The evidence in this case shows a clear and disturbing pattern of violence and deception,” Jennings said in a statement. “The defendant repeatedly abused a position of trust and authority and then subsequently lied about it. We don’t tolerate this kind of misconduct by anyone – let alone from someone who swore an oath to protect his community – and we will prosecute his crimes to the fullest extent of the law.”
CNN has reached out to the Wilmington Police Department for comment.
CNN’s Chris Boyette and Travis Caldwell contributed to this report.