A federal grand jury indicted a retired Santa Ana Police Department officer Wednesday on three felony charges for using “unreasonable force” during a 2014 arrest, then filing a false report about the beating and arrest, prosecutors said.
Brian Patric Booker, 50, of Chino Hills faces one count of deprivation of rights under color of authority and two counts of falsification of records, U.S. Department of Justice officials said.
The indictment stems from a violent arrest that took place on June 19, 2014.
“Booker used unreasonable force in connection with the arrest of the victim,” U.S. DOJ spokesman Ciaran McEvoy said in a written statement. “The victim was not resisting arrest.”
In justifying punches landed on the victim, “Booker falsely claimed that the victim reached toward Booker and grabbed Booker by his right leg,” McEvoy said.
“Booker also falsely stated that he delivered three to four punches to the back of the victim’s head because he believed the the victim was about to tackle him and possibly have access to Booker’s firearm,” according to McEvoy. “Booker allegedly knew these statement were false when the reports were filed.”
Booker, who was a 19-year veteran of the department, retired last year, prosecutors said.
If convicted as charged, Booker could face up to 60 years in federal prison. He was scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana for an arraignment hearing on August 12.
The investigation was carried out by the FBI, MCEvoy said. The Santa Ana Police Department “fully cooperated” with federal investigators, he added.