Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Update on Uncle James: The police chief is recommending the cop that did the tazing be fired!!

The termination of a Peru Police officer involved in the use of a Taser on an Alzheimer’s patient was recommended after the completion of an internal investigation.

Peru Police Chief Steve Hoover recommended to the Peru Public Board of Works Monday that Officer Gregory Martin be terminated after a 64-year-old Alzheimer’s patient was tased. The board held an executive meeting on a disciplinary act...ion on an employee and during the regular meeting Hoover made his recommendation.

Hoover said after the meeting that after an internal investigation it was recommendation was that the board consider the termination of Officer Gregory Martin. He also recommended that the other officers involved in the incident, Jeremy Brindle and Jeff Lloyd not be punished.

“In the internal investigation we did not discover any violation on their part,” Hoover said.

On June 17, according to police reports, officers and EMS were called to Miller’s Merry Manor for a combative patient. The report states that nursing staff told police that James Howard, 64, was combative “all night.” It went on to state that Howard did not follow commands from the officers to go to the gurney and had turned toward Brindle “with a closed fist.” After a struggle with the officer Howard was Tased and, according to the report, was Tased an additional two more times after continuing to struggle.

Mayor Jim Walker and Hoover announced the internal investigation on June 18.

Hoover said after the meeting the incident fell under the department’s general order number five, which states that officers “shall not use more force than is necessary” and that it was a class four violation, the maximum punishment of which is termination. A class five violation is the highest violation.

During the Board of Works meeting Walker explained that Martin would be receiving notice of the recommendation and has five days to request a hearing and if he does so the board has 30 days to hold that hearing. All they could on Monday was review the request and notify Martin. Under Indiana Code, Martin has the right to be represented by an attorney, call and cross-examine witnesses and evidence produced during the hearing.

If Martin does not request a hearing after five days, the board will hold a special meeting and make a decision then.

“It’s a tough decision whereas in we are a small department,” Hoover said. “And every officer there I feel is my friend. But I have a job to do and I feel the recommendation I made to the board had to be made.”

He also said that a lieutenant had conducted the investigation, turning in the results for Hoover to review for his recommendation and Hoover stated he believed the internal investigation was completed

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