Review panel: Officer kicked, punched man being arrested

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A report released by a civilian review board that oversees the Providence Police Department found that a department sergeant verbally taunted a man he was arresting, knelt on the back of his neck, punched and kicked his ribs, kicked his head, and walked on the back of his lower legs.

The report by the Providence External Review Authority was released Wednesday at the request of The Public’s Radio. It is based on body camera footage, video recorded by a bystander, and a review of the police department’s internal investigation.

Sgt. Joseph Hanley is charged with simple assault for allegedly hitting Rishod Gore, 28, of East Providence, several times, during the April 19 encounter. He has been suspended with pay and is due back in court Oct. 26. No defense attorney is listed in online court records.

The review board called for an independent review of the encounter in July during a summer of protests over racism and police brutality sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by Minneapolis police in May.

Hanley is white and Gore is Black, but the report does not mention any racial aspect to the arrest.

Gore was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, but charges were later dropped.

The review board report recommends that the city strengthen enforcement of policies on body camera use, duty by an officer to report a colleague’s misconduct, and use of force. It also recommends that the city mandate that officers intervene to stop misconduct by a fellow officer.

©The Associated Press 2020

Categories: News, Providence, Rhode Island