Hickory, NC — In 2019, the taxpayers of Hickory, North Carolina found out that they will be shelling out $400,000 after one of their police officers lost his cool and smashed a tiny handcuffed woman into the concrete driveway outside of the jail. Chelsea Doolittle suffered a broken nose and multiple broken teeth as a result of the attack — over a parking ticket violation.
The incident happened in 2013, but the case is only just now coming to a close after then-Hickory Officer Robert George felt the need to savage abuse a defenseless woman. Luckily for Doolittle, the entire incident was captured on the jail's surveillance video as she was viciously attacked while handcuffed. Finally, after nearly a decade, George is going to prison.
On Thursday, George was sentenced to three years in prison with a year of supervised probation after his release.
“A person’s constitutional rights do not cease to exist during or after an arrest,” said U.S. Attorney Dena J. King of the Western District of North Carolina. “A federal jury rightfully decided that former police sergeant George used excessive force against an individual in his custody, and today’s resentencing reflects the seriousness of his unlawful conduct.”
“Police officers who violently and unlawfully assault people in their custody, causing severe physical injuries and trauma, are not above the law and will be held accountable,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “This sentencing sends a strong message that the Justice Department will continue to aggressively prosecute officers who abuse their power by using unlawful force on people in their custody.”
Recommended for You
“The security video of George’s actions that day in 2013, is sickening,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert R. Wells of the FBI Charlotte Division. “We are grateful to our partners at the Hickory Police Department who immediately began an internal investigation and requested state and federal assistance. We hope today’s resentencing sends a message that no one is above the law, and everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.”
As the video shows, George pulls up to the jail gets out of the driver's seat and violently drags Ms. Doolittle from the car. He then smashes the handcuffed woman face first into the concrete severely injuring her nose and breaking her teeth. What started as an arrest for alleged disorderly conduct over voicing her concern for a parking ticket, ended in a nightmare for Doolittle who was essentially kidnapped and tortured by a maniac.
For nearly a year after his violent attack, George remained a cop on paid vacation. However, once his case finally went before a jury, all that changed.
The violence from officer George against the handcuffed woman was so extreme that it led to him facing charges. In an extremely rare move, in 2019 a jury found George guilty of using unreasonable force against Doolittle. George lucked out, however, and avoided any jail time. Instead, he was sentenced in federal court to four years of probation and ordered to pay $23,000 in restitution.
But on Thursday, George was sentenced for a second time after an appeals court overturned the earlier judge's decision.
For voicing her disagreement over a parking ticket, Doolittle was essentially kidnapped by George who charged her with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. All the charges against Doolittle would eventually be dropped after the video showed that officer George was clearly the aggressor who attacked an innocent handcuffed woman.