A former Metro transit officer was indicted on a federal civil rights charge of using “unreasonable force” during an incident last year, the Justice Department said Thursday.
In a statement, prosecutors said that Andra Vance, 45, was on duty when he injured a person with his police baton on Feb. 16, 2018. Authorities said that Vance first hit the person multiple times, then choked the person with the baton.
Prosecutors did not release information about what prompted the confrontation. Federal officials did not identity the injured person or release further details.
The statement said that Metro transit officials reviewed Vance’s actions within hours of the incident and revoked his police powers before notifying federal authorities.
Prosecutors said that Vance faces two civil rights violations and that he could face a fine of up to $250,000 for each of them and a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison.
When reached by telephone, Vance declined to comment about the charges and referred calls to his attorney. His attorney could not be reached Thursday.
Dan Stessel, a Metro spokesman, said that the incident happened at the Anacostia station where Vance was assigned and that it did not result from a call for service.
Stessel said transit police officials “took immediate action, independent of any citizen complaint or media coverage, that included suspending the officer and notifying federal authorities within hours of the incident.”
Vance was fired on March 1, 2019, Stessel said.