Cop Watch

Friday, February 11, 2005

Canton officer indicted on extortion charges

CANTON, Miss. - A Canton police officer has been indicted on 10 counts of extortion for allegedly pressuring Hispanic motorists to give him money during traffic stops.

Officer Roger Thomas is accused of taking the cash between March 1, 2003, and Jan. 25, 2004, according to the indictment made public this week. Thomas, a lieutenant, resigned after his arrest last month on one count of extortion. He now faces the additional counts of extortion, with each count carrying up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

"We believe the reason he picked on the Hispanic community is the fact they were very frightened of being in a new country and not able to speak the language very well, and they were somewhat use to this being the way that law officers treated people when they were in Mexico," Clark said.