A federal brutality indictment has been handed down against a top police official in Midlothian, IL. Police official Steven Zamiar has been charged in the case for allegedly beating two different suspects in that city.
Zamiar has been charged in two separate beatings. During the first alleged beating, he was the deputy chief, and was a detective sergeant during the other. The charges are officially called unreasonable force by law enforcement, and he faces a serious federal prison sentence if he is convicted.
Zamiar has worked in that police department for 13 years, and the two separate charges involve alleged beatings that occurred in 2010 and 2011. Both of the charges involve bodily injury and unreasonable force. Police sources stated this week that one of the cases involved injuries to a teenager burglary suspect, and the other involved a deadly weapon. It is alleged that he beat a suspect with a police baton outside of a bar.
Federal prosecutors in Midlothian announced the indictment yesterday. Each federal count carries a potential sentence of 10 years in prison, and as much as $250,000 in fines.
Reports indicate that Zamiar has been suspended from his work with pay as the grand jury investigation has proceeded. Zamiar has been a very active part of the police community in the area.
Zamiar also has been sued four other times in federal court by those he arrested, who accused him of excessive force. Most of the suits were eventually dropped, but the town in 2008 paid to settle the claims of one arrestee named Michael Pyrzynski. He alleged that the police officer hit him in the head unprovoked in November 2006.
According to Zamiar’s attorney, the alleged victims in the two current beating cases appear to have suffered minor wounds during lawful arrests. He noted that police officers have to use force to arrest people every day, and criminal charges are not usually filed.
Officials in Midlothian have known about a federal probe linked to the officer since February. At that time, a grand jury requested access to his personnel file and to records that alleged any misconduct.
During the 2010 event, Zamiar called the police and chased teenagers he thought were trying to steal his car. Two suspects were caught and were charged with felony burglary. On the 2011 incident, Zamiar filed a report of an incident that stated that he had to use his baton to subdue a suspect after he had to chase the man at a bar. Zamiar was not working at that time.