Capitol Police Officer Pleads Guilty to ‘Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law’ – Faces 10 Years in Prison

Jewel Samad/Getty Images

By The Vanguard Staff

WASHINGTON, DC – Thomas Smith—a now former U.S. Capitol Police officer—this week pleaded guilty for “recklessly engaging in a dangerous pursuit and being deliberately indifferent to the danger he created,” and faces up to 10 years in prison, according to the Dept. of Justice officials. 

Smith, who has sentencing Jan. 22, 2024, is guilty of deprivation of rights under color of law, said DOJ.

According to court documents, on the evening of June 20, 2020, “Smith was on duty conducting security checks at the homes of members of Congress in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C., when he began pursuing two individuals riding motorized cycles,” although such pursuits are prohibited generally.  

The complaint added, “While following the motorcyclists closely, but without his emergency lights on, Smith’s USCP cruiser struck one of the motorcyclists,” knocking the cyclist “into the air before he hit the asphalt roadway. As the victim lay in the intersection unconscious, Smith drove his cruiser around the victim and left the scene of the collision.”

“Contrary to USCP policies, Smith did not notify anyone of the incident, take any action to seek medical assistance for the victim or ensure that no further harm came to the victim as he lay on the road. Hours after the collision, Smith falsified several USCP records in an attempt to cover up the events related to the incident,” DOJ wrote.

U.S. Attorney Mathew M. Graves for the District of Columbia said that “former officer Smith violated the Constitution and abused his position by recklessly engaging in a dangerous pursuit that resulted in an unnecessary collision that could have had devastating results.”

“A federal law enforcement officer who abuses his authority by engaging in reckless and obstructive conduct not only violates the law, but also public trust. All police officials who deprive citizens of their civil rights will be held accountable,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. 

“Contrary to the oath he took as a law enforcement officer and a government employee, Smith endangered and showed disregard for others’ lives,” said Special Agent in Charge Jacobs 

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

Related posts

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for