Witnessed former sheriff’s deputy kicking inmate, defends action

st. ALBANS, Vermont (AP) β€” The fired Vermont deputy sheriff, the only candidate to become sheriff in November’s ballot, was caught on surveillance video kicking a handcuffed and shackled inmate. He continues to insist that he did nothing wrong when he was arrested.

John Grizmore was nominated by both Republicans and Democrats in Franklin County, earning his name on the ballot in November, but he was suspended and subsequently fired after the video was released in August. I was.

Now his bid to become a sheriff has lost the support of both parties that threw support for the write-in candidate. He says he needed a kick to defend.

Franklin County Democratic Commissioner Zach Scheffler said in an email, “I was horrified by the video of John Grismmore brutalizing handcuffed detainees.” He has been accused of a crime and a criminal investigation is ongoing.He cannot continue his credible campaign for this position.”

videowhich Announced on August 10shows an unidentified prisoner sitting in the holding area of ​​the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office in St Albans. At one point, the prisoner comes forward and falls face down, after which two deputies raise him up and put him back on the bench he was sitting on.

After the prisoner rises again, Grismore, who was working on an administrative matter in his office and was wearing plain clothes, enters the picture and uses his right leg to force him back into a sitting position. When the prisoner stands up again, Grismore kicks him in the groin and abdomen.

The state police criminal investigation into the August 7 incident is ongoing and will be referred to the county prosecutor for possible charges once completed. Meanwhile, the current sheriff, who called the case “egregious,” referred the case to the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council, potentially revoking Grismore’s certification as a law enforcement officer.

Grismore said his actions, caught on surveillance video two days before the Vermont primary, were taken out of context. He spat on the deputies and, as he prepared to spit again, kicked the prisoner on his feet. He used his leg so that he didn’t have to approach the prisoner.

Grismore, a Franklin County native who has held various law enforcement and corporate security jobs since 1997, including full-time with the sheriff’s office for the past four years, is refusing to drop out of the race. .

In an interview with The Associated Press, Grismore said, “I know what I know, so yeah, I’ve seen it. Yeah, I would have thought it looked bad. But I also would have said, “I’m a man who needs facts and circumstances,” if I were in this profession. That’s what I do. I need facts and circumstances before I can make a judgment.

Immediately after the incident, one of the lieutenants reported to his superior out of state and to outgoing Sheriff Roger Langevin. Langevin returned to Vermont and suspended Grismore on pay three days later. In a news release, he said the case has been referred to the county prosecutor and state police are investigating.

August 25th, Langevin Grismore fired.

After a month of silence, Grismore has claimed in a series of television appearances and media interviews that he has done nothing wrong.

During an appearance on Northwest Access Television, Mr Grismore said, “The point is, I was protecting myself from being spit on, and I was protecting another agent from the possibility of being spit on. I did create some space and time between him and me and use my feet to try and move my face away from his.”

Early voting is underway in Vermont, and mail-in ballots have already been distributed, but two candidates have now begun write-in campaigns.

Lieutenant Mark Lauer, who has been with the Vermont Police Department for 27 years and nearly a decade, has the support of both parties. He hadn’t considered running for sheriff until he was approached by others after the Grismore case became public.

Lauer said he was directly involved in the investigation into Mr Grismore’s conduct, so “it felt like the right time at the time and the right thing for the agency to do.”

Lauer is a Republican and an effective law enforcement leader with a distinguished track record and bipartisan support, Schaeffler said.

“He’s not a Democrat, but our committee majority has decided that Mr. Grismore cannot be left unchecked,” he said.

Another candidate is Gale Messier, who has worked in law enforcement for decades, including 20 years with the sheriff’s office in Chittenden County, Vermont’s most populous county.

“The man was handcuffed and his legs were also handcuffed, so he wasn’t going anywhere,” Messier said.

Corey Parent, state senator and county Republican party chairman, said it’s hard to pull off a write-up campaign, especially when there are two candidates.

“It’s very hard to get name ID and put effort into it,” said the parent. Unfortunately, vote for John Grismore. ”

Mr. Grismore, who has not been charged with a crime and holds a law enforcement license, could be elected.

State Department Attorneys and Sheriffs Executive Director John Campbell said the office does not monitor elected sheriffs.

“The only public oversight of the criminal conduct of elected officials like sheriffs is impeachment by Congress,” Campbell said.