Former Grundy County Chief Deputy Tony Bean is pictured receiving an award in a 2017 photo. He was convicted of federal civil rights offenses on Friday. Photo courtesy Grundy County Sheriff's Office
Jan. 29 (UPI) -- A former chief deputy with the Grundy County Sheriff's Office in Tennessee was convicted of federal civil rights offenses on Friday, the Justice Department announced Saturday.
Anthony "Tony" Bean, 61, was found guilty of using excessive force against two people he had arrested in 2017, including one during his time with the sheriff's office and one from his tenure as chief of police in Tracy City, the Justice Department said in a news release.
Prosecutors said that Bean repeatedly punched the victims in the face while they were handcuffed, causing pain and other injuries. "Tony Bean bragged about using excessive force against his victims and failed to report his uses of force," the Justice Department said.
Kristen Clarke, an assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, said that federal prosecutors "will not stand idly by in the face of criminal misconduct by law enforcement officials."
"Every person in our nation has the right to be free from unlawful abuse by police officers, including the use of excessive force during an arrest," she said. "This verdict makes clear that law enforcement officials who use unlawful force are not above the law."
Bean has previously faced charges, WTVC reported. It was not immediately clear what charges the former chief deputy had previously faced.
The Grundy County Sheriff's Office Facebook page is filled with photos documenting the numerous awards and recognition Bean had received during his service with the law enforcement agency.
Those accolades included a director's award from the Tennessee Highway Safety Office for "his selfless work in highway safety," the same year he used excessive force against the people he arrested.
Bean faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for each of the three counts on which he was convicted.