Updated: January 6, 2014 12:54PM
A top Midlothian police officer has been charged by federal prosecutors with beating two suspects in two separate incidents in 2010 and 2011.
Lt. Steven Zamiar, 46, the suburb’s former deputy chief, was a detective sergeant when he beat and injured the first victim on Sept. 6, 2010, it’s alleged. And he had risen to be the town’s second-in-command by Nov. 24, 2011, when he allegedly used excessive force on a second victim.
Zamiar, a 13-year veteran, has been sued four times in federal court by arrestees who alleged excessive force, records show.
Though most of the lawsuits were dropped, the village in 2008 paid to settle the claims of Michael Pyrzynski, a Midlothian resident who alleged Zamiar hit him in the head in an unprovoked attack during a November 2006 arrest.
On a later date, Zamiar Tasered a handcuffed and compliant Pyrzynski while he was in the back of Zamiar’s squad car, Pyrzynski had also alleged.
Zamiar, who has since been demoted to lieutenant, was placed on paid administrative leave two months ago.
He is free on bond and has yet to enter a plea.
If convicted of the 2010 and 2011 civil rights violations, he faces up to 20 years behind bars and up to a $500,000 fine.