Former Van Zandt County sergeant pleads guilty to using Taser on restrained inmate

*NOTE: This is a stock photo.
*NOTE: This is a stock photo.(piqsels)
Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 4:52 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 12, 2022 at 4:55 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A former sergeant with the Van Zandt County Sheriff’s Office pleaded guilty on Tuesday to violating the civil rights to a detainee who was restrained.

David Yager 29, admitted during the plea hearing that on Feb 28, 2021, while he was acting as a sergeant in the Van Zandt County Jail, he repeatedly punched a restrained detainee in the chest with a taser, which he also deployed on the detainee, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Yager admitted that his actions injured the detainee, and that he used force despite knowing there was no legitimate law enforcement need to use force. He said the hit the detainee out of anger, according to the statement from the USDOJ.

With his guilty plea and pursuant to the terms of the plea agreement, Yager faces a 42-month prison sentence.

A sentencing date will be scheduled after the completion of a pre-sentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

“Law enforcement officers who violate the law erode confidence in the rule that we hold so dear to our democratic way of life,” said U.S. Attorney Featherston. “Specifically, those officials who violate a citizen’s civil rights will be held accountable for their improper violent actions. We must expect and require officers to act professionally. Simply put, the failure to do so will not be tolerated.”

“The FBI is committed to investigating violations of civil rights, to include the use of excessive force in jails and prisons,” said Assistant Director Quesada. “This case serves as a reminder that any officer who violates the civil rights of detainees will be held accountable.”

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+ Former Van Zandt County chief deputy agrees to prison term

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