Home Columbia Press Releases 2010 Second Former Greenville Policeman Pleads Guilty in Homeless Abuse Case
This is archived material from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) website. It may contain outdated information and links may no longer function.

Second Former Greenville Policeman Pleads Guilty in Homeless Abuse Case

U.S. Attorney’s Office April 21, 2010
  • District of South Carolina (803) 929-3000

COLUMBIA, SC—Acting United States Attorney Kevin F. McDonald stated today that former Greenville, South Carolina, police officer Jeremiah Carlton Milliman, age 29, pled guilty today in federal court in Greenville to an information charging two counts of deprivation of rights under color of law, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 242. United States Magistrate Judge William M. Catoe accepted the plea and will sentence Milliman at a later date.

Milliman admitted in court that on consecutive days in September 2009, he assaulted homeless individuals whom he and other officers had just arrested, handcuffed, and secured in a patrol car. In the first incident, Milliman entered the backseat of the patrol car where the handcuffed man was sitting alone, and struck him in the face with his forearm after the man yelled out, busting the man’s lip. In the second incident, Milliman entered the backseat of the patrol car where a deaf-mute homeless individual was handcuffed and secured. Milliman poked the man with an ink pen, making the man audible a sound that Milliman found amusing. He poked him again so that nearby officers would hear the sound. Milliman then poured a hand sanitizing liquid on the man’s head. Another officer later wiped the liquid off the man’s head before he was transported to jail.

Milliman is the second Greenville police officer to plead guilty in the case, which arose after other officers in the Greenville Police Department alerted supervisors last year that a small group of officers were engaged in abusive and humiliating conduct towards the city’s homeless population. Last month Matthew Scott Jowers pled guilty to one count of deprivation of rights under color of law, admitting that he slammed a homeless arrestee into a patrol car with such force that he dented the car.

Both Milliman and Jowers are no longer with the Greenville Police Department, and both have agreed to be de-certified as law enforcement officers. Both remain free on bond until sentencing.

“Law enforcement officers are sworn to protect and serve, not to abuse and humiliate. The conduct here was unconscionable and indeed criminal. Our office will prosecute those in authority positions who violate their sworn oath and deny members of the public their civil rights,” stated Mr. McDonald.

Mr. McDonald stated the maximum penalty Milliman can receive is a fine of $200,000 and imprisonment for two years. Jowers faces one year in prison and a $100,000.00 fine.

Mr. McDonald said the investigation is ongoing and other charges may be forthcoming.

The case was investigated by agents of the FBI and SLED. The case is being prosecuted by Acting United States Attorney Kevin F. McDonald and Trial Attorneys Gerard Hogan and Christopher Lomax of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

This content has been reproduced from its original source.