Vermont sheriff’s captain fired after video appears to show him kicking handcuffed detainee – NBC News
A captain for a sheriff’s office in Vermont has been fired after a video appears to show him kicking a handcuffed detainee multiple times earlier this month, authorities announced Thursday.
Capt. John Grismore’s actions with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 7 were called “egregious” in a statement by Sheriff Roger Langevin.The sheriff’s office provided video Friday to NBC News of Grismore appearing to kick a trespassing suspect in the stomach and groin area. The unidentified suspect was handcuffed and shackled while he was at the sheriff’s office.
Grismore, who is running for sheriff to replace Langevin, was not immediately reached Friday afternoon. Langevin had once supported Grismore’s bid for sheriff.
“The egregious incident involving Grismore was reported to me by deputies working for me here at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office,” Langevin said in the statement. “I am proud of our deputies’ actions and integrity in coming forward with this information.”
“Grismore is no longer employed by the FCSO and no longer has my support for Sheriff. Additionally, I have filed the incident with the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council … and they may institute sanctions including revocation of law enforcement certification.”
Grismore had been on administrative leave and Vermont State Police have opened a criminal investigation into the alleged assault, the sheriff’s office said. State police were not reached for comment Friday.
Langevin said it “would be improper for me to comment on” the investigation.
But he added that “the actions of Capt. Grismore do not reflect the values and high standards of conduct and performance that I expect from my staff each and every day.”
In the video, a shirtless man wearing jeans is handcuffed with his wrists behind his back while his ankles are fastened to a bench. At one point, the detained man stand’s up and ends up falling on his stomach and saying, “Oh, that hurt.”
Two deputies appear in the frame and help the man up. The detained man then tells a deputy, “Can I smash you in the face?”
Shortly after, Grismore is seen appearing to kick the detained man in his stomach. Grismore, who is not in uniform, then appears to twice push his foot near the suspect’s groin while telling him to sit down.
The detained man appears to call Grismore a homophobic slur more than once. Grismore then appears to kick the detained man in the stomach.
Grismore had sought to become the next Franklin County Sheriff and won his unopposed primary earlier this month. Records show he is running as a Republican.
NBC affiliate WPTZ of Plattsburgh, New York, reported there have been bipartisan calls for Grismore to remove his name from the November ballot.
“It sets a bad tone,” said Zach Weight, the Republican running to become the next state’s attorney of Franklin County, in condemning the content of the video.
John Lavoie, Weight’s opponent in that race and a current deputy Franklin County state’s attorney, agreed.
“I think Captain Grismore should withdraw,” Lavoie said, WPTZ reported.
Antonio Planas is a breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital.
Helen Kwong contributed.