A police officer in Montgomery, Alabama, has been arrested for allegedly forcing a man to perform oral sex on him at gunpoint earlier this month.
The 27-year-old officer, Deonte Lashawn Hamner, was taken into custody last Tuesday and charged with first-degree sodomy, according to reports. Hamner, who graduated from the police academy in 2014, has been placed on administrative leave and an investigation is underway.
The alleged event occurred sometime on Thursday, June 9, between 8 and 10 PM, according to court documents. During that time, Hamner, who was on duty, is said to have pulled over a vehicle to investigate a noise complaint made to the Montgomery Police Department (though the department has not yet revealed whether such a call was ever actually made). After the officer stopped the vehicle, Hamner allegedly held the driver at gunpoint and forced him to perform oral sex. A warrant for Hamner's arrest was filed the next day, and he was apprehended on June 14. Hamner is now being held in the Montgomery County Detention Facility under a $60,000 cash bond.
Hamner is not the first Montgomery police officer accused of sexual assault in 2016. In March, another Montgomery officer, Morris Leon Williams, Jr., was charged with second-degree sodomy for allegedly having "deviate sexual intercourse" with a mentally disabled woman.
A member of the Montgomery Police Academy Recruiting Bureau who did not want to be identified told Broadly that they were unable to disclose information about what goes on during the recruiting process to the public, but affirmed that they "spend 4 to 6 weeks investigating all of our employees that work with the City of Montgomery, thoroughly." When asked if any part of that process specifically addressed the possibility of sexual assault, the representative asked, "What would you do? What would you ask?" and said, "I'm trying to get you see where we're coming from. If you asked your boyfriend if he liked boys, and he said no, you'd trust him right?"
While sodomy has historically referred to sex acts between unmarried people, and laws against it have been invalidated across the US, "sodomy in the first degree" is still used in many states to describe crimes involving "deviate sexual intercourse with another person by forcible compulsion"or "with a person who is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated." In Alabama, "deviate sexual intercourse" is defined as "Any act of sexual gratification between persons not married to each other involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or anus of another."
These sodomy charges are only two of the most recent controversies facing the Montgomery Police Department. Earlier this year, 22-year-old police officer G.T. Farris was charged with a felony for leaving the scene of a car crash while off-duty, after which he resigned from the department. In February, 23-year-old officer Aaron Smith fatally shot unarmed 58-year-old Gregory Gunn and was charged with murder in March.