Indiana ex-cop gets year in federal prison for slamming cuffed suspect’s head against vehicle

A former Gary police officer was sentenced Wednesday to a year in federal prison after pleading guilty to violating a handcuffed man’s civil rights by using excessive force while arresting him.

A U.S. District Court judge in Hammond sentenced Terry Peck to one year and one day in prison followed by one year of supervised release, court records show.

Peck, 48, pleaded guilty in August to one count of deprivation of rights under color of law — a federal crime with a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison. He admitted using excessive force while arresting a motorist during a March 2019 traffic stop as he was on duty for the Gary Police Department.


“While the driver was handcuffed and not posing a threat to Peck or anyone around him, Peck slammed the driver’s face and head against a police vehicle, breaking the man’s tooth and causing him bodily injury,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

Peck was indicted in October 2021 by a federal grand jury. He is a past president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 61 in Gary.

Peck was fired in 2020 by the Gary Police Civil Service Commission following a disciplinary complaint filed in connection with the motorist’s assault, court records show.

“This successful prosecution demonstrates how justice can prevail when victims and witnesses bravely report criminal misconduct by those who took an oath to serve and protect,” said U.S. Attorney Clifford D. Johnson for the Northern District of Indiana.