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Dolton Cop Charged With Civil Rights Violations

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A Dolton police officer has been charged with beating two people with his police baton and then threatening the police chief during the investigation.

Dolton Police Officer Kevin Fletcher was released on $15,000 bond Tuesday afternoon after he was indicted on two counts of violating civil rights though the use of unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer and one count of obstruction of justice, according to federal prosecutors.

The indictment was returned by a federal grand jury last Thursday and unsealed Tuesday after Fletcher was arrested, a release from the U.S. Attorney's office said.

Fletcher, 34, of South Holland, joined the Dolton Police Department in October 2006. He was released on a $15,000 secured bond after pleading not guilty Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez in U.S. District Court in Chicago. A status hearing was scheduled for Nov. 28 before U.S. District Judge Elaine Bucklo.

The indictment alleges that on May 17, 2009, Fletcher used a police baton to strike two people, identified only as "Victim M" and "Victim W," in the head, resulting in each suffering bodily injury.

The obstruction count alleges that on Feb. 15, 2010, Fletcher threatened to cause bodily injury to Dolton's then police chief in retaliation for producing records and documents to the federal grand jury investigating the incident and the FBI.

The civil rights counts carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison each and a $250,000 fine, and the obstruction count carries up to 20 years and a $250,000 fine.

(The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.)

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