Crimetracker: Former KPD officers get probation for beating homeless man

By: Hilary Magacs Email
By: Hilary Magacs Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Three former Knoxville Police Department officers will serve one year of supervised probation for beating a homeless man in February.

Ty Compton, Jeremy Jinnett and Chris Whitfield pleaded guilty in June to simple assault and felony official oppression. Also, they resigned from KPD.

They were sentenced to 11 months and 29 days behind bars for the assault charge along with a year in jail for oppression, with the sentences set to run concurrently. The judge suspended the those sentences and gave them the supervised probation, noting that until the beating incident, they all had good records.

"Based upon the circumstances that we faced in this case, this ended up being the best possible outcome for us. I'm sure that Chris is going to move forward in his life, take advantage of the opportunity for probation and become a productive member of society," said Tommy Hindman, Whitfield's attorney.

"I'm pleased the judge made the decision that he did and placed my client on probation. And he's ready to go forward, comply with probation and try to resurrect the rest of his life," said Dennis B. Francis, Jinnett's attorney.

Whitfield, Compton and Jinnett will ever be allowed to work in law enforcement again.

During a news conference held on the day the officers pleaded guilty, Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch played four videos that showed the three former officers taking part in the beating on February 9.

Rausch noted each time they slammed Michael Millicoat against a police car several times, punched him, kicked him and stood on him.

The three officers were called to assist other KPD officers in the arrest of Millicoat for disorderly conduct and evading arrest.

Rausch told the media that a concerned citizen emailed him about the "inappropriate behavior." That's when Chief Rausch said he launched an internal investigation.

Seven KPD officers who were also on scene that day have received internal discipline for failing to stop the beating, according to Rausch.

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