December 27, 2010

Videotape used in disciplinary hearing to rebut employee’s testimony

Videotape used in disciplinary hearing to rebut employee’s testimony
NYC Department of Corrections v Saint-Phard, OATH Index #172/11

OATH Administrative Law Judge Faye Lewis found that Stanley Saint-Phard, a New York City correction officer, used impermissible force by dispersing a chemical agent in an inmate's face and placing him in a chokehold.

Saint-Phard contended that the use of such force was justified because the inmate made an aggressive motion towards him after disobeying an order to return to his cell.

A videotape introduced into evidence, however, showed that before Saint-Phard deployed the spray, the inmate had turned around and placed his hands behind his back. Further, the video showed that the officer was less than three feet from the inmate when he sprayed him, in violation of a directive prohibiting the use of the spray from close range.

ALJ Lewis also found that Saint-Phard used an impermissible chokehold on the inmate during the ensuing takedown of the inmate. A 60-day suspension was the recommended penalty.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
http://archive.citylaw.org/oath/11_Cases/11-172.pdf

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