Former Gary Police Officer Sentenced for Using Excessive Force in Violation of Federal Civil Rights Laws

A former officer with the Gary Police Department (GPD), was sentenced today to one year and a day in prison, and one year of supervised release after pleading guilty to violating the civil rights of an arrestee. Terry Peck, 48, previously admitted to having used unreasonable force during the arrest of the victim, a man the defendant had stopped for an alleged traffic infraction.

According to the plea agreement, Peck admitted that, on March 19, 2019, while on duty and acting as an officer for GPD, he conducted a traffic stop and placed the driver under arrest. While the driver was handcuffed and not posing a threat to Peck or anyone around him, Peck slammed the driver’s face and head against a police vehicle, breaking the man’s tooth and causing him bodily injury.

“All people in our country have a right to be free from excessive force by police officers,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The sentencing of this defendant makes clear that officers cannot violate people’s civil rights with impunity. The Justice Department will continue to aggressively prosecute any law enforcement officer who willfully violates the civil rights of the people they are sworn to serve and protect.”

“When interacting with members of the public, even when those public members may have engaged in criminal activity, law enforcement officers are under an obligation to conduct themselves within the limits of the Constitution,” said U.S. Attorney Clifford D. Johnson for the Northern District of Indiana. “This successful prosecution demonstrates how justice can prevail when victims and witnesses bravely report criminal misconduct by those who took an oath to serve and protect.”

“This sentence should send a clear message the FBI won’t tolerate the abuse of power of those who took an oath to serve and protect,” said Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton of the FBI Indianapolis Field Office. “The action of this officer not only violated the victim’s civil rights but damaged the community’s trust in law enforcement. When there is excessive use of force that rises to a federal crime, the FBI will investigate, and those individuals will be held accountable.”

The Merrillville Resident Agency of the FBI Indianapolis Field Office investigated the case.

Trial Attorney Anita Channapati of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas McGrath and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Chang for the Northern District of Indiana prosecuted the case.

The United States Attorney’s Office encourages anyone who may have been a victim of a civil rights or hate crime violation to contact the FBI at (219) 769-3719 or submit a tip to

Photo – Former FOP President Terry Peck During Traffic Stop

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