January 25, 2019

Mitigation of the disciplinary penalty to be imposed found warranted under the circumstances


Mitigation of the disciplinary penalty to be imposed found warranted under the circumstances
OATH Index No. 2137/18

A New York City correction officer was charged with using excessive force against an inmate and submitting a false report.

A video of the incident and respondent’s testimony indicated that a newly-admitted inmate resisted processing. When the correction officer attempted to guide the inmate to a table, the inmate swatted the correction officer's hand away and attempted to spit in the correction officer's face. The correction officer admitted that his hand was briefly was on the inmate’s neck as he tried to push the inmate away.

OATH Administrative Law Judge Noel R. Garcia sustained the excessive force charge but he recommended dismissal the false report charge. Judge Garcia found the correction officer’s written statement was consistent with the video evidence.

The ALJ recommended that correction officer be suspended for thirty-five days without pay, finding mitigation of the penalty was warranted based on the fact that the use of force was set in motion by the inmate’s belligerence, that the inmate did not suffer any injury, consideration of the correction officer’s long service record, and that the correction officer accepted responsibility for his actions.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

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Click here to Read a FREE excerpt from A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty Under the Circumstances, a guide to disciplinary penalties imposed on officers and employees of New York State and its political subdivisions.

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