Former officer pleads guilty to excessive force at hospital

March 25, 2020 GMT

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A former police officer at a Florida veteran’s hospital has pleaded guilty to using excessive force and lying in reports to cover up the incident.

Norman Nicholson, 56, pleaded guilty in Tampa federal court Tuesday to charges of making false records in a federal investigation and depriving an individual of their rights under color of law, according to court records. He faces up to 20 years in prison at a June 24 sentencing.

Nicholson was working for the Bay Pines Veterans Affairs Healthcare System near St. Petersburg in 2018 when he used excessive and unreasonable force during the arrest of a U.S. Army veteran, according to a plea agreement. Nicholson then authored two false arrest affidavits and a police report.

As a result of this arrest, the veteran spent several days in custody at the Pinellas County jail, prosecutors said.