You may have seen this video by now, of a Rhode Island police officer kicking a woman while she was handcuffed and sitting on a curb. The officer was convicted of felony assault a few months ago and sentenced to 10 years in prison, but the judge suspended the sentence. Here’s video of a TV report on the situation:
So many levels of appalling here. First of all, the claim that he felt he was in danger is patently absurd. The woman was in handcuffs on the ground; no sane person could possibly consider her a threat. Second, the fact that this guy now wants his job back — and could get it.
The 12-year veteran of the force is fighting to keep his job after he was convicted of felony assault in March. The case is best known for video from a security camera at Twin River in Lincoln showing Krawetz kicking a handcuffed woman to the head.
Under the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights, a three-member panel of police officers will decide his professional fate after what is expected to be three days of hearings.
One panelist was chosen by Krawetz, a second by the Lincoln police chief and the third was agreed to by the two sides. The ‘neutral’ officer was a North Providence policeman, which is why the hearing was set in that town.
Such decisions absolutely should not be made by other police officers. This is why civilian review boards are a necessity. It’s also worth noting that this isn’t this officer’s first problem. He has a previous misdemeanor assault conviction from 2001, which got him suspended for 30 days. This man should be barred from being a police officer anywhere, forever.