Smirnoff 2

Smirnoff

Former Tallassee police investigator Michael Brandon Smirnoff pleaded guilty Friday to assaulting a handcuffed man, according to an announcement from U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin Sr.

Smirnoff, 27, faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. His sentencing hearing is July 18.

According to the guilty plea, Smirnoff, who was on duty as an investigator with the Tallassee Police Department, used his patrol car to pursue a 24-year-old man who was on a four-wheeler. After the pursuit, the man stepped off his four-wheeler, laid face down on the ground and allowed several Tallassee police officers to handcuff him.

While the man was handcuffed and compliant, Smirnoff lifted him into the air and then slammed him to the ground. Smirnoff repeated the assault, the U.S. Attorney’s office said. Moments later, before Smirnoff placed the victim into his patrol car, Smirnoff slammed the victim’s head into the side of the vehicle. For each assault, the victim was handcuffed, compliant and did not pose a threat, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

“It is especially important in a climate of distrust between law enforcement and the public that officers act ethically and within the bounds of the law,” Franklin said. “This police officer’s brutal behavior was unacceptable and criminal. He violated this young man’s constitutional rights and the trust placed in law enforcement officers to faithfully, ethically and morally enforce the law. You can be sure that any time an officer steps over the line and into criminal behavior, as this one did, my office will hold that individual accountable.”

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Montgomery Division.

Former Tallassee police investigator Michael Brandon Smirnoff pleaded guilty Friday to assaulting a handcuffed man, according to an announcement from U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin Sr.

Smirnoff, 27, faces a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. His sentencing hearing is July 18.

According to the guilty plea, Smirnoff, who was on duty as an investigator with the Tallassee Police Department, used his patrol car to pursue a 24-year-old man who was on a four-wheeler.  After the pursuit, the man stepped off his four-wheeler, laid face down on the ground and allowed several Tallassee police officers to handcuff him.

While the man was handcuffed and compliant, Smirnoff lifted him into the air and then slammed him to the ground. Smirnoff repeated the assault, the U.S. Attorney’s office said. Moments later, before Smirnoff placed the victim into his patrol car, Smirnoff slammed the victim’s head into the side of the vehicle. For each assault, the victim was handcuffed, compliant and did not pose a threat, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

“It is especially important in a climate of distrust between law enforcement and the public that officers act ethically and within the bounds of the law,” Franklin said. “This police officer’s brutal behavior was unacceptable and criminal. He violated this young man’s constitutional rights and the trust placed in law enforcement officers to faithfully, ethically and morally enforce the law. You can be sure that any time an officer steps over the line and into criminal behavior, as this one did, my office will hold that individual accountable.”

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Montgomery Division.