Jeremy Gibson, 31, a former officer with the Muncie Police Department, in Muncie, Indiana, pleaded guilty today to civil rights and obstruction charges. Specifically, the defendant pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights offense for assaulting an arrestee, and to an obstruction offense for writing a false report to cover up the incident.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers for the Southern District of Indiana and FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton made the announcement.
According to court documents and statements made during the change of plea hearing, on or about May 13, 2019, Gibson initiated a traffic stop of a car because one of the car’s headlights was out. When the driver stepped out of the car, Gibson attempted to physically take him to the ground, and punched him several times with a closed fist in the process. As other officers also used force against the driver, Gibson delivered a knee strike to the right of his head, causing his head to swing to the side, at which point another officer delivered another knee strike to the opposite side of the driver’s head. Shortly after the incident, Gibson authored a false report about the incident.
Gibson is one of four Muncie police officers who – along with Officer Chase Winkle, Officer Corey Posey and Sergeant Joseph Krejsa – were indicted in April 2021 in a 17-count superseding indictment for their roles in using excessive force against arrestees and attempting to cover up the misconduct. The other three officers are scheduled to stand trial in August 2022. A fifth Muncie police officer, Dalton Kurtz, previously pleaded guilty on Aug. 4, 2021, to one count of misprision of felony for concealing and failing to report inappropriate use of force by Officer Winkle during a separate incident.
The FBI conducted the investigation. Trial Attorneys Katherine G. DeVar and Mary J. Hahn of the Civil Rights Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Blackett for the Southern District of Indiana are prosecuting the case.