Schenectady officer suspended after controversial arrest

Local

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A case of alleged police brutality in the city of Schenectady has been resolved. The officer has kept his job but is being suspended.

The incident involves Officer Brian Pommer and the altercation he had on July 6 with a man named Yugeshwar Gaindarpersaud. The officer got a call that a man had slashed a vehicle’s tires. The victim was at the scene and told Officer Pommer that Gaindarpersaud was the man who did it.

The officer found the man a few minutes later, and after speaking with him, Gaindarpersaud was told to put his hands behind his back, but he refused. Body camera footage shows the two ended up on the ground with the officer repeatedly telling Gaindarpersaud to stop resisting. They grapple, and eventually, the officer put his knee on the man’s head to try to restrain him.

The body camera footage shows the officer’s knee slipping toward the man’s neck, but he pulled it off quickly. Gaindarpersaud was eventually taken to the police station in the back of a police cruiser.

The investigation shows the officer did almost everything according to protocol, but nine disciplinary charges were brought against Pommer. He was found not guilty on six of the charges.

The three areas where he did not follow protocol include:

  1. He confronted the suspect before he had established a crime had been committed. The car with the slashed tires was no longer at the scene as it had been towed away.
  2. He cursed at Gaindarpersaud as he was leading him in handcuffs to the police car.
  3. He did not buckle Gaindarpersaud into his seat.

For those three mistakes, Pommer will be suspended for six days without pay, and he must undergo seven days of extra training

All of the charges against Gaindarpersaud in the case were dropped.

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