This is not a good week for the police. First, there was the story of the police officer who openly advertised his desire to shoot First Lady Michelle Obama and ended up at a desk job under investigation for his trouble. And now, from Rhode Island, comes another story, this time dealing with a police officer who apparently didn't know how to make an arrest with one iota of professionalism.
Meet Edward Krawetz, a police officer who quite literally kicked one of his arrestees in the face after she kicked him in the shins. Talk about disproportionate retribution:
Now, if you're wondering why this is news now, since Krawetz's original offense was in 2009, then allow us to explain. Mr. Krawetz was punished with a 10 year suspension for his behavior in 2009 after being convicted of assault in a trial. However, that was only the Court's punishment. As far as the police department is concerned, Krawetz still has his job, which is where this story comes in.
The video of Krawetz's attack apparently attracted the attention of some people Change.org, who filed a petition to get Krawetz fired from the police. As of now, the petition has over 400 signatures, according to the New York Daily News and Opposingviews.com. Now, Krawetz faces a hearing with his employers, and may have to fight for his professional life. From the New York Daily News story:
Krawetz, who was suspended without pay, declined to address the court before his sentencing.
But now, he could officially lose his job in a disciplinary hearing that began in June and will resume in August, according to the Providence Journal.
He faces six administrative counts. An attorney for the town of Lincoln said it is unclear if Krawetz will have to testify when the hearing continues next month.
“He doesn’t have to be here,” lawyer Vincent Ragosta told WPRI.
Krawetz’s attorney, Gary Gentile, declined to comment after the hearing’s opening arguments last month, the station said.
The criminal case against Krawetz isn’t the first for him: In 2001, he pleaded no contest on a charge of simple assault against a man who was jogging.
Now, on the one hand, since Krawetz is already suspended without pay, we're not sure how much worse a firing could be, and indeed, a clean break for the police from a man like this might be a very wise idea. On the other hand, it is possible (though unlikely, given that this is a pattern) that Krawetz has changed in the three years since his offense. The burden of proof certainly falls in him to show why he should not be fired, but we are not going to recommend the firing without more evidence as to the man's current character.