Ex-cop avoids federal lockup, faces state charges in beating

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MOBILE, Ala. (AP) – A federal judge in Alabama has granted five years probation to a former white police officer who admitted to trying to obstruct investigators investigating the charges of beating a black driver who was argued with his wife.

Former Selma cop Matthew Blaine Till pleaded guilty in September to three counts of obstructing justice. Although prosecutors asked for jail time, U.S. District Judge Matthew Beaverstock put him on probation, a U.S. Department of Justice. news release said.

“As part of his plea deal, Till will no longer be able to work in local, municipal, state or federal law enforcement, or as a correctional officer or private security officer,” the statement said.

Till and former Dallas County Sheriff’s Deputy John Matthew Taccone are charged by the state with second-degree assault and the misdemeanor of unlawful imprisonment and obstruction of government operations.

Their trial is scheduled for September, Al.com reported.

News Media reported in September that Till’s wife called him on April 30 after a road rage argument with a “black man in a red charger,” whom the two officers chased and arrested.

A physical struggle began after Till attempted to handcuff the man, Al.com reported at the time. As the man asked him what he had done, the two officers on duty hit him in the face and head, and Till drew his gun and threatened to kill him, the Dallas County District Attorney said, Michael Jackson, when the assault charges were first announced.

The state charges were laid a week after Till pleaded guilty to federal charges. As part of this plea, he admitted that he had “used force against a citizen on duty” and then repeatedly told another law enforcement officer not to inform investigators of the call from his wife.

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