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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

Former LeFlore County Undersheriff sentenced for violating handcuffed prisoner's civil rights

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that Kendall Bryan Morgan, age 45, of Shady Point, Oklahoma, was sentenced last week to 22 months imprisonment and 36 months of supervised release for violating the civil rights of a handcuffed detainee without legal justification.

The charge arose from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

On November 8, 2022, Morgan pleaded guilty to one count of Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law. At the plea hearing, Morgan, the former Undersheriff in the LeFlore County Sheriff’s Department, admitted that on January 25, 2017, he repeatedly struck a person under arrest and in handcuffs, causing the victim bodily injury.

At the time of the assault, the individual was not resisting arrest and posed no threat to officers or the public. Morgan’s excessive force furthered no legitimate law enforcement purpose and violated the victim’s constitutional right to be free from unreasonable force by law enforcement.

“The reputation of the entire law enforcement profession is tarnished when an officer betrays the oath to protect and serve,” said FBI Oklahoma City Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Gray. “The sentencing of Mr. Morgan sends a clear message that the FBI will not tolerate anyone who dishonors the badge by using excessive force.”

“Law enforcement officers are bound by oath to serve and protect all citizens equally—this requires consistency, compassion, and respect for the dignity of all,” said U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Wilson. “The defendant violated that oath, and justice demands he pay the price for blatantly disregarding the law and the civil rights of others.”

The Honorable Ronald A. White, Chief Judge for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, presided over the hearing in Muskogee. Morgan will remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshal pending transportation to a designated United States Bureau of Prisons facility to serve a non-paroleable sentence of incarceration.

Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Howanitz represented the United States at the sentencing hearing.

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