Former Providence, Rhode Island, Police Detective Robert DeCarlo was caught on video beating a handcuffed suspect, Luis Mendonca, with a flashlight on Oct. 20, 2009.
The beating was filmed by a security camera (video below) from a nearby house. At the time, Mendonca was suspected of trespassing and theft, noted WPRI.
DeCarlo was convicted of felony assault with a dangerous weapon in April 2011; however, Superior Court Judge Francis J. Darigan Jr. declared a mistrial in November 2011 and threw out the conviction because a prosecutor mentioned evidence during a closing statement which had not been admitted to the trial.
Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin appealed Judge Darigan's ruling to the state Supreme Court, but later withdrew the appeal in exchange for DeCarlo’s guilty plea to simple assault, a misdemeanor, which could have resulted in one year in jail.
However, Superior Court Judge Pamela Woodcock Pfeiffer gave DeCarlo a suspended sentence with probation.
Last week, Superior Court Magistrate John F. McBurney III ruled that the felony conviction would be expunged from DeCarlo's record, which means the conviction will be sealed from the public, except under special circumstances, reports Providence Journal.
When DeCarlo completes his probation, he will have to wait five years to have his misdemeanor charge expunged.
DeCarlo will still draw a pension when he reaches the legal age, and the City of Providence will defend him in a $7 million lawsuit filed by Mendonca, who was knocked unconscious.
Mendonca was convicted of simple assault on two police officers, but appealed those convictions. Kilmartin’s office eventually dismissed the charges.