DeWitt Police say officer’s use of force in July 4th Walmart altercation justified

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DEWITT, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — DeWitt Police addressed the suspension of an officer involved in a recent incident resulting in the use of force.

Video from a police body camera shows Officer Rory Spain hitting a handcuffed woman in Walmart on July 4 after responding to a brawl between customers.

DeWitt police gave a presentation on Thursday afternoon about what happened at the DeWitt Walmart that day. 

Police said after an investigation and review of this video, Officer Rory Spain used reasonable force during the incident. They also said police have the right to “defend themselves and a right to act” in situations where things get out of hand. 

Prior to police showing up, several people had started a fight at the Walmart where pepper spray was used by one of the suspects. Later on, police intervened and two women resisted arrest. 

In the video shared, Spain struck the suspect in the neck, which is something officers are trained to do, according to Dewitt Police.

Police say the strike came after Officer Spain was bitten by the suspect more than once.

Officer Spain will have to go through training to review the incident. DeWitt police say they are looking into a policy to investigate all “Use of Force” incidents in the future, where every incident undergoes bodycam review and individual officers involved are trained accordingly. 

DeWitt Police said Officer Spain will be back on patrol at some point next week.

Both women arrested that day are facing multiple charges including resisting arrest and attempted assault.

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