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St. Albans police officer fired for punching handcuffed woman

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Thirwell1216, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. Thirwell1216

    Thirwell1216 NES Member

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    Yikes!

    St. Albans police officer fired for punching handcuffed woman

    St. Albans police officer fired for punching handcuffed woman



    ST. ALBANS, Vt. (WCAX) A handcuffed woman was left with a black eye after she got punched in the face. And the man accused of punching her is a St. Albans police officer. Our Darren Perron has the story.


    Amy Connelly, 35, found herself locked in a holding cell at the St. Albans Police Department in March.

    Connelly was allegedly drunk when she ripped a man's shirt at a bar earlier that night. Police arrested her after she refused to leave Shooters Saloon and brought her to the station, accused of disorderly conduct.

    That's when things took a turn that's hard to watch.

    Police say the Highgate woman refused to stop kicking the door to her cell and things got ugly.

    Video shows Sgt. Jason Lawton shove Connelly against a wall after she refuses to sit down. She stands back up and allegedly kicks-- or tries to kick-- the sergeant, who responds by punching the handcuffed woman in the face.

    It was all caught on the officer's body camera video and on surveillance cameras obtained by WCAX News.

    In court paperwork, Lawton said the strike to the face was to gain control of the situation and ended her aggressive behavior.

    But the ACLU of Vermont says it's police brutality, plain and simple.

    "He is a bully to a young woman who is distraught, who has handcuffs behind her back, in a three by three holding cell and it's beyond the pale," said Jay Diaz of the ACLU of Vermont.

    The ACLU requested the video from the March 14 incident. And Diaz points out it's not the first time Lawton's actions have been called into question.

    "He is clearly an officer who should not have been a police officer because of how he behaves," Diaz said. "It's readily apparent."

    Lawton allegedly lied about a traffic stop in 2013 when he worked for the Shelburne Police Department, claiming a driver ran a red light. The cruiser cam video showed differently. The police department settled a suit over it.

    Lawton then moved to St. Albans.

    In 2018, he was one of two St. Albans officers involved in shooting an armed suspect who allegedly pointed a gun at them. The suspect claimed he fired into the air so police would kill him. An officer's bullet grazed the suspect. He survived.

    "We did make a decision to hire him. I own that," St. Albans Police Chief Gary Taylor said.

    Taylor admits he knew about the botched traffic stop in Shelburne but says he didn't know it rose to the level of perjury. He thought it was a misunderstanding before he hired Lawton. And during Lawton's time in St. Albans, he even earned a promotion.

    But the chief says if he had known Lawton's history and knew he could lose his cool like this, he would never have hired him.

    "I've been doing this for 44 years. I don't approve of anything like that. Nobody gets to engage in behavior that's abusive," Taylor said. "I don't want people to think that behavior reflects the values of this organization. It does not."

    The chief says he never saw the video until the request by the ACLU. Once he did, he ordered an internal review.

    WCAX News has confirmed it is now being investigated by the Vermont State Police and the attorney general's office.

    Lawton was fired from his job in St. Albans.

    "Once you look into it and watch the video, I think the video is self-explanatory," Taylor said. "If you shouldn't be wearing a badge and a gun, part of my job is to make sure you're not."

    Criminal charges against Connelly are still pending but her lawyer tells WCAX they are trying to get those dismissed and they are considering a civil suit against the police department.


     

  2. W.E.C

    W.E.C NES Member

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    Ban body cameras.
    Jeeez, ya can’t even punch girls in the face around here anymore.
     
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  3. Prepper

    Prepper NES Member

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    So, one cop reprimanded. (If I did this, I'd be in jail, not just fired.) But, I see 2 other cops there. I don't see them doing anything to prevent the violence against this woman or try to de-escalate the cop who's doing the punching.

    I thought cops were taught special techniques to properly restrain someone who's getting a bit too feisty. But, I didn't think it involved punching in the face. I guess it's a new technique or something.
     
  4. Evadd

    Evadd NES Member

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    He never should have shoved/hit her just because she was being an annoying POS. He definitely went over the top the second time, but the girl did kick him. And oh, the irony of her calling others animals.
     
  5. Admin

    Admin Staff Member Administrator Moderator NES Member

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    I'm sure the guy's wife has seen worse.
     
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  6. appraiser

    appraiser NES Member

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    the punishment must fit the crime.... put the former officer in General Population while cuffed.

    He needs to be held to a higher standard right?
     
  7. Bonesinium

    Bonesinium NES Member

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    Right. That’s totally believable.

    And this is exactly what happens. Cops commit crimes and just move to a different department.

    I see three cops in the video. None are criminally charged and only one is fired? That’s sure holding them accountable! [rolleyes]
     
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  8. 67ray

    67ray NES Member

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    Charges are coming . . . as are the lawsuits . . . bag of cash for this alky SAPD officer fired for striking woman | St. Albans Messenger

    Vermont State Police investigated the shooting. No officers were charged in the incident. Laplant is awaiting trial. Lawton will now be investigated again by VSP for what happened to Connelly.

    Connelly’s attorney, Albert Fox of Chadwick and Spensley in Brattleboro, said that if Lawton is charged his client will testify. “I certainly think it merits an investigation,” he said. A lawsuit against the city is “on the table,” but the focus is on the criminal case against Connelly, Fox said.

    Fox, who has filed a motion seeking the dismissal of all of the charges against Lawton, called the case “a total miscarriage of justice.”

    And then this from city manager:

    “We certainly regret what has happened to Mc. Connelly,” said city manager Dominic Cloud. “We’re ready to take responsibility for it.” Part of that responsibility included Lawton’s termination.

    But what happened to Connelly isn’t the full story of the SAPD, according to Cloud, who called the assault “an outlier” that “doesn’t speak to the values of this department.” “We’re a large organization with employees who interact with people at their darkest moments,” said Cloud. The SAPD has 30 officers and handles 12,000 incidents a year. “Nobody in any organization can expect employees to be perfect,” said Cloud, but it can expect them to take responsibility for their actions.

    But, he added, officers have a level of power which means they have to be held to a higher standard. “I think all of us who watched that video had the same reaction – the officer crossed the line.”
     
  9. BigTimber

    BigTimber NES Member

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    Until one works night in night out with belligerent drunks one has no idea how tiresome it becomes. Having said that he’s scum and Should be charged accordingly.
     
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  10. robjax

    robjax

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    lets hope he is convicted and put away for a while....
     
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  11. NH_Realtor

    NH_Realtor NES Life Member NES Member

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    If he’ll do that to an annoying drunk adult just imagine what he’d do to his kids if he has any. What a POS.
     
  12. blindfire

    blindfire NES Member

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    At least they went home safe. Brave guys, right there!
     
  13. ridleyman

    ridleyman NES Member

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    I'm not for violence against anybody, who doesn't deserve it, but I feel bad for the cops who have to deal with that shet every day.
     
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  14. appraiser

    appraiser NES Member

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    Well there are a few occupations where people have to deal with drunks and other people, and we had to do it without cuffs, a baton, or a gun.

    But I knew it was part of the job.

    If I had ever let loose on a drunken passenger I would have been out the door, 30 days pending discharge and loss of pension before my shift ended.

    So the cop was mad his dinner was being interrupted by a cuffed drunk in a holding cell, and a female on top of it.

    Where was the female officer or at least a Matron to monitor her safety?

    I'm not justifying the action of the 35 year old drunken female by any means, but there is not a lot of justification for hitting a cuffed prisoner.

    She was correct, they were animals.

    As I said above, put the cops involved in cuffs and toss them into General Population....
     
  15. ridleyman

    ridleyman NES Member

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    I don't disagree, in this case, that the cop was out of control. However, the thin blue line has gotten knife edge thin these days, and I was, more than anything, observing the obvious that cops have a tough, frequently unappreciated, job of dealing with such "people".
     
  16. xtry51

    xtry51

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    A drunk person being annoying? I can't believe we make police deal with such savagery! /sarc

    I agree other cops doing nothing equally culpable.
     
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  17. mac1911

    mac1911 NES Member

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    police are not trained to de escalate violence. They are trained to escalate violence until you submit to authority.
    It will be a rare event you see police stopping other police from doing bad. Those that do might end up with a worse tag on thier back than a shitty cop.
    that cop could have easily let her kick the door until she was tired and worn out.
    I dont care how much you have to deal with these folks.
    After all thats what the job is dealing with shit on a regular basis.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
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  18. Winchester73

    Winchester73

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    I was a bartender for many years. I found working with the drunken public to be both entertaining and profitable. Two things I learned were how much patience I really have and how to just let things slide, because people eventually sober up and usually will admit they were an a-hole.

    And I did that without having to beat anybody up, manacled or otherwise.
     
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  19. rmaclean86

    rmaclean86 NES Member

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    No Sir, you are "real stupid". Just let her kick the steel door. She can't hurt it...its a damned door. She wasn't a danger to you or herself (at that point anyway). Ignore her drunk a$$....and try to get her bailed or ship her to county or do whatever you do in VT. Just another fine example of what "not to do".
     
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  20. drgrant

    drgrant Moderator NES Member

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    I don't know why this cop didn't just leave her in there and let her go full retard in the cell. If she was doing damage or someething I would think they would need a better drunk tank.

    Smells to me like he didn't like "contempt of cop" or maybe had to sit there listening to her go FR and kick the door. Eventually much like little kids they'd get tired of it and pass out, etc. The end result was a full retard solution to a minor problem. There's no need to force
    compliance when they ain't going anywhere, etc.

    Also, it's not like this is a "new" thing. Broads like her probably existed 30+ years ago, too.

    Also not a fan of regulations, but at what point do some of these establishments take any responsibility? Most public drunkie incidents
    like this are inextricably linked to some shithole bar that usually overserves them, and it's almost always the same places. These aren't people getting sauced at home and wandering into the house to pass out. Then again admittedly bar staff enforcing some of that stuff is difficult. Part of the problem with alcohol is some people do not deteriorate in a linear fashion... I know people who basically will turn into a raging doucheretard one drink over the line (and most of these people probably shouldn't be drinking at all, period) and not act like the rest of us who are like "oh, I'm a bit f***ed up, guess I'm not driving home now".

    -Mike
     
  21. Woodsy

    Woodsy NES Member

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    So she kicked him and his response was to punch her. Mmm no reason to be fired. Although in my opinion he should have either pepper sprayed her or bound her feet to her hands and let her sleep on that
     
  22. KBCraig

    KBCraig NES Member

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    There is an ironclad rule: once the cuffs are on, the use of force stops.

    No retaliation. None. It doesn't matter what went on before. It doesn't matter what the cuffed person tries to do, or swears they'll do, or otherwise acts out: if they're in restraints, force stops.
     
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  23. Bt74

    Bt74 NES Member

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    Just wondering if this were a male drunken slob, would the outrage be the same (white male)?
     
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  24. BigTimber

    BigTimber NES Member

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    Our bartenders were easy going too, they shut them off, We escorted them out. Two totally different worlds. Easy to have patience behind the bar, not so much in the middle of the Malay or at the front door. I enjoyed tending as well. Security not so much.
     
  25. BigTimber

    BigTimber NES Member

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    [slap]
     
  26. BigTimber

    BigTimber NES Member

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    You wouldn’t even know about it.
     
  27. BigTimber

    BigTimber NES Member

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