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Midlothian Cop Used Excessive Force Twice, Federal Prosecutors Allege

(CBS) – A south suburban Midlothian police officer has been indicted for allegedly beating two different people in separate incidents.

Steven G. Zamiar, 46, is charged with two counts of violating the civil rights of the victims, who are entitled to be free from the use of unreasonable force by an officer, the U.S. attorney's office in Chicago announced Wednesday. The incidents allegedly occurred in 2010 and 2011.

Zamiar, of Midlothian, joined the Midlothian Police Department in 2000 and was a detective sergeant at the time of the alleged beating in 2010 and deputy chief when the 2011 incident occurred.  He was later demoted to lieutenant and was placed on paid administrative leave this past September, federal prosecutors said.

Snyder says, as he walked to his car, Zamiar who was off duty and not in uniform, approached him, with three other men.

"The guy pulled out, what was a police baton and rushed at me and just kept hitting me with it," said Snyder.

Snyder says he was arrested and charged with resisting arrest and assault. The charges were dropped. He then contacted the civil rights organization, Living and Driving While Black Foundation.

"I was appalled by the fact that they would do this to this young man and really have no basis to do it," said David Lowery of the Living and Driving While Black Foundation.

Zamiar will be arraigned on a date yet to be scheduled in U.S. District Court.

According to the indictment:

--  On Sept. 6, 2010, Zamiar used excessive force, resulting in bodily injury against an individual identified only as "Victim A."

--  Zamiar allegedly used excessive force, resulting in bodily injury, against Victim B in November 2011. He allegedly used, attempted to use, and threatened to use a dangerous weapon.

Each count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. An arraignment date has yet to be scheduled.

In response to the story, the attorney for the Village of Midlothian said it would be inappropriate to comment since there's pending litigation. Zamiar had no comment. Right now, he's on paid administrative leave from the department.

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