On December 23, 2011, Huntsville police officer Brett Russell responded to a domestic violence call at the residence of Gary Wayne Hopkins. Russell eventually called for backup from fellow officer Joshua Bates, reportedly to assist with placing Hopkins in leg shackles. However, once Hopkins was fully restrained and in custody — Russell proceeded to violently beat the suspect while commanding him to "stop resisting" arrest. Dash cam footage (see below) shows that Hopkins was far from being in any sort of position to resist arrest, instead subjected to a disturbing episode of police brutality:

Once Hopkins finally arrived at the jail for booking, officials declined to house him until he received proper medical attention due to his severe injuries. According to PINAC, all involved officers falsely reported that Hopkins had been "combative" — thus temporarily justifying Russell's actions. However, during Russell's federal trial proceedings, Bates admitted he had previously "lied to internal affairs investigators twice, lied to an FBI agent, and lied to a federal grand jury" in an effort to protect Russell (and himself, presumably) as part of a larger cover-up of police brutality.

Adding to the disturbing realities present in such an admission, Russell reportedly kept some of Hopkins' personal belongings as perverse "trophies" — a report seemingly proven by the fact that another officer found various items taken from the residence of the suspect stowed away in Russell's vehicle. Russell is now facing federal charges of deprivation of a person’s civil rights under the color of law and obstruction of justice — which, if proven guilty, will place the former officer behind bars for up to 30 years.