Northwoods officer pleads not guilty to civil rights indictment

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. – A grand jury has indicted Northwoods officer Michael Benett for using unreasonable force and violating a woman’s civil rights. The officer pled not guilty Thursday to the federal charge.

The incident occurred at the Florissant Department of Motor Vehicles on April 15. People working at the office tried to get the woman to leave. She strikes a man and that is when Bennett intervened. A YouTube video of the confrontation shows Bennett repeatedly hitting the woman. Other officers eventually arrived ans placed her under arrest.

The indictment says that “Bennett while acting under the color of law, deprived S.T. of the right to be free from unreasonable seizure, a right secured and protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States, which includes the right to be free from the use of unreasonable force. In so doing, the defendant repeatedly struck S.T. with fists while the victim did not pose a threat to anyone. This offense resulted in bodily injury to S.T.”

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