DES MOINES, Iowa — An Iowa police officer was sentenced on Monday to 63 months in prison for kicking an unarmed man in the head at a 2013 traffic stop.
Officer Colin Boone was convicted in March for kicking a restrained man, Orville Hill, who had just survived an automobile crash and was suffering from a seizure when Boone attacked him.
Hill testified in court that Boone, who was 400 pounds at the time, caused serious damage, exacerbating his seizures. Michael Smart, Boone’s defense attorney, originally requested five years of probation, but US District Judge Robert Pratt opted for a harsher sentence in light of Hill’s testimony.
Smart made a statement attempting to minimize the brutality of his client’s actions. “This case is about less than 15 seconds in a 14-year law enforcement career … Sadly, it is not uncommon in the criminal justice system for a few seconds of poor judgment in an otherwise productive and mostly law-abiding life to carry severe consequences,” Smart wrote in a letter addressing the court.
The trial’s prosecuting attorney, Nicholas Klinefeldt, hopes the sentence will act as a deterrent for future cases of police brutality. Klinefeldt recommended the maximum sentence of of eight years in prison.
“This case wasn’t just about an act of violence, it was about a breach of trust,” said Klinefeldt.
Boone, who has since been fired from the Des Moines police, had been accused of brutality in the past, court records show. The city of Des Moines chose to settle a lawsuit in 2009 after Boone broke a woman’s arm during a stop for an alleged DUI.