An Anchorage police officer has been indicted on a federal charge of violating civil rights when he allegedly assaulted a man to whom he was serving a bicycle citation.
Cornelius Pettus, 33, was already facing misdemeanor assault charges and felony charges of records tampering in state court.
The new charges stem from a September 2019 incident that started when Pettus contacted a man riding a bicycle at night without reflectors and, a while later, tried to serve him with a citation.
The camera on Pettus’s patrol car recorded him punching the man in the jaw and kicking him in the groin, according to the state charges. Pettus pepper-sprayed the man, and handcuffed and arrested him, the charges say.
The charges say the Anchorage Police Department’s “use-of-force” investigation showed the man had not been threatening Pettus with physical harm when Pettus punched him.
Pettus and a fellow officer involved in the incident have both pleaded not guilty to the state charges.