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Former S.C. trooper pleads not guilty

A former S.C. Highway Patrol trooper caught on video kicking a suspect in the head has pleaded not guilty to a federal civil rights charge.

Court records show U.S. Magistrate Judge Bristow Marchant set a $25,000 bond for John Sawyer during a hearing on Wednesday.

Sawyer was accused of willfully depriving a man of his right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a police officer after video emerged showing him kicking the man in the head after a 2006 interstate chase.

Sawyer was placed on leave after the incident and later resigned from the patrol.

Sawyer is the second trooper indicted in as many months.

Authorities began investigating the patrol in March after tapes emerged of a trooper using a racial epithet.

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