LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A former Lake Charles Police Department officer who pleaded guilty to using excessive force during a 2017 police chase has been sentenced to a year-and-a-half in prison.
Federal Judge James David Cain sentenced Robert Hammac, 44, on Tuesday. He also sentenced Hammac to one year of supervised probation and ordered him to undergo a mental health evaluation.
Hammac has to report to begin serving his sentence at 1 p.m. on Jan. 6.
Hammac was one of the officers involved in a police chase in May 2017. When the miles-long chase ended, the suspect raised his hands, indicating surrender. While other officers began pulling the driver out of the car, Hammac opened the passenger side door, grabbed the driver and repeatedly punched him.
After leaving Lake Charles, Hammac joined the Moss Point Police Department in Moss Point, Mississippi, but resigned after he was indicted.
Hammac is from Lucedale, Mississippi, according to information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Lake Charles Police Chief Shawn Caldwell released the following statement:
"Mr. Hammac has not been employed by the Lake Charles Police Department for more than two years. This incident was self-reported to the FBI and we respect the investigative and legal process. We reaffirm that the actions of Mr. Hammac and others involved in the May 2017 incident were not tactically sound, unsafe for all involved, and not what we expect for the Lake Charles Police Department.
We have updated our pursuit policy, and retrained our Officers on how to approach pursuit stops, including when to call them off and how to approach a vehicle. Through these updated policies and constant training, we will continue to progress and improve as an agency."