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December 18, 2013

Off-duty peace officer’s display of his weapon in the course of an altercation excused based on hearing officer’s finding that he feared for his safety


Off-duty peace officer’s display of his weapon in the course of an altercation excused based on hearing officer’s finding that he feared for his safety
OATH Index No. 825/13

An off-duty Bridge and Tunnel Officer was charged with misconduct for his role in a fight at a car wash, in course of which he displayed his firearm.

OATH Administrative Law Judge Kara J. Miller found that, given the individual’s peace officer status, he could be disciplined for initiating a physical altercation, even though he was off-duty.

However, Judge Miller recommended dismissal of a charge that the officer improperly displayed his weapon, finding that he objectively feared for his safety when the workers advanced on him. She credited the officer’s testimony that he did not place his finger on the trigger and that he re-holstered his weapon when the employees retreated.

The ALJ recommended that the Officer be suspended without pay for 30-day suspension.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:
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