Former Marion police officer sentenced to 20 weekends in jail

By Heartland News

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - A former Marion, IL police officer was sentenced to 20 weekends in jail on a charge of deprivation of rights under color of law in United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois last Thursday.

The jail time for Dustin G. Whitehead,28, was part of a four year sentence of probation where he is also required to perform 50 hours of public service and pay a fine of $2,000.

At his sentencing Whitehead admitted that on Aug. 14, 2009, while serving as a police officer for the City of Marion, he willfully and without legal justification kicked an arrested person two times, despite the fact that the person's hands were cuffed behind his back as he sat in the back seat of the police car.

He also admitted that he lied under oath on Jan. 6, 2010, to a hearing officer from the State of Illinois Department of Employment Security during his appeal over the loss of his unemployment benefits.

Whitehead appealed a decision denying him unemployment benefits after he was put on administrative leave without pay by the Marion Police Department following the incident. During that hearing, he falsely claimed under oath that he had not struck the victim in the case and that there was no proof.

He pleaded guilty on April 26, 2010. As part of his plea he agreed to immediately resign his position as a police officer for the City of Marion and to refrain from ever seeking or accepting employment as a police officer, jailer, correctional officer, military police officer, or deputy sheriff.

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