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Former Tennessee Police Chief Sentenced to Six Years for Abusing Arrestees

by Kevin W. Bliss

A former high-ranking Tennessee law enforcement official was sentenced to six years in federal prison on August 26, 2022, for repeatedly punching arrestees in the face while they were handcuffed. Anthony Glen “Tony” Bean, 62, was the Chief of Police in Tracy City in 2014, when he assaulted the first restrained detainee, identified as C.G. By the time he assaulted a second handcuffed detainee, identified as F.M., in 2017, Bean had moved on to Chief Deputy of the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO).

After a bench trial, Bean was convicted on January 28, 2022, of three counts of deprivation of rights under the color of law. The charges carried a maximum sentence of ten years, but federal guidelines called for 51 to 71 months. Asking for the “high end” of the range, prosecutors filed a sentencing memorandum in federal court for the Eastern District of Tennessee that noted Bean cultivated a culture of violence and fear wherever he worked. He even bragged about the assaults to subordinates, who also feared reporting his misconduct.

“The defendant chose as his victims restrained, intoxicated men who could not fight back, men whose many experiences with the criminal justice system made them ideal victims for him,” the sentencing memo read.

Worse, one victim, C.G., testified that he didn’t bother to report the abuse at first because he “kind of figured they’d just do as they always done.”

Testimony at trial also revealed additional uncharged instances when Bean abused his power with threats and violence. As the sentencing memo summarized, “the counts of conviction are representative of the defendant’s frequent abuses, but they are by no means exhaustive.”

Bean’s pastor submitted a letter in support of the disgraced former cop, which was included in a sentencing memorandum filed by his defense attorneys that argued for leniency because he was “raised in a church going family.”

U.S. District Judge Travis McDonough agreed with prosecutors, however, sentencing Bean to 72 months for each count, to run concurrently, followed by two years of probation and 150 hours of community service. Bean’s son, T.J., now 32, was also working at GCSO in 2017. He was charged but acquitted in the assault on F.M. See: United States v. Bean, USDC (E.D. Tenn.), Case No. 4:19-cr-00020.

FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Knoxville field office Joseph E. Carrico led the investigation into Bean. “When an officer betrays the oath to protect and serve, the public is put at risk and the law enforcement community is tarnished,” he said. “The public has a right to trust that officers will do the right thing.” 

Additional source: Law & Crime

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