A Baltimore Police officer was indicted Wednesday on charges that he shoved a man who was handcuffed into the backseat of a patrol vehicle after he told law enforcement that he could not bend or lift his leg because he had undergone knee replacement surgery.
Officer Kevin Hilton, a more than three-year veteran, is charged with second-degree assault and misconduct in office.
In an unrelated case, Officer Unique Sheppard, a more than two-year veteran, faces charges of wearing, carrying or transporting a handgun without a permit, conspiracy to tamper with evidence and misconduct in office.
Neither Hilton nor Sheppard could be reached. Their attorney, Chaz Ball, declined to comment.
“It is imperative that our police officers conduct themselves in a manner worthy of wearing the badge and serving the residents of Baltimore,” State’s Attorney Ivan Bates said in a statement. “The allegations in these cases are uncharacteristic of the honorable men and women of the Baltimore Police Department and completely unacceptable.”
Bates said he was confident that his Public Trust and Police Integrity Unit will ensure accountability in the cases.
On May 25, 2022, Hilton went to a home on North Payson Street near Vine Street in the Penrose/Fayette Street Outreach neighborhood before 2 a.m. to serve two arrest warrants and protective orders on William Gunter, according to the indictment.
Police sat him down in the back of a patrol vehicle in handcuffs. His legs were hanging outside the car, the indictment states.
Gunter told officers that he could not bend or lift his leg because he’d undergone knee replacement surgery. He urged them to take a look and stated that police would need to drive him in a wagon, the indictment alleges.
Hilton told Gunter, “This is the only vehicle you’re getting in, boss.” Gunter replied, “OK. Well, guess what? Ya’ll gonna have a lawsuit,” according to the indictment.
That’s when Hilton told the other officers to watch out, pushed them out of the way and grabbed Gunter by his legs, the indictment asserts.
Next, the indictment alleges, Hilton shoved Gunter into the backseat as he screamed in pain.
Meanwhile, Sheppard was on desk duty because of an unrelated investigation on March 20 when she got into a car crash at about 4:30 p.m. on West Pratt and South Mount streets in Union Square, according to an indictment.
Later, her sergeant arrived at the scene. Sheppard acknowledged that she left her post without the knowledge of her supervisors, the indictment alleges.
Her girlfriend, Breshawn Webb, was standing on the sidewalk.
The sergeant searched the car, the indictment asserts, and found a white plastic bag that contained two grinders, several individually wrapped cannabis edibles and “green plant residue.”
Sheppard started to text and then mouthed something to Webb, who walked over, took the plastic bag, and left, the indictment alleges.
Police saw that happen and then ordered Sheppard to call Webb and tell her to come back to the scene, according to the indictment.
Later, the sergeant searched Sheppard and found a loaded handgun. She did not have a wear and carry permit, the indictment claims.
Webb faces a charge of tampering with evidence. She could not be reached for comment.
In an email, Lindsey Eldridge, a police spokesperson, said Hilton is assigned to administrative duty. His power powers are suspended. Sheppard, she said, is suspended without pay.
It’s unclear when Hilton and Sheppard are expected back in court.