Vermont sheriff captain fired after video appears to show him kicking handcuffed inmate
A captain at a Vermont sheriff’s office has been fired after video appears to show him repeatedly kicking a handcuffed inmate earlier this month, authorities said Thursday.
Capt. John Grismore’s actions with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office on August 7 were called ‘flagrant’ in a sheriff’s statement 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 at the sheriff’s office.
Grismore, who is running for sheriff to replace Langevin, was not immediately reachable Friday afternoon. Langevin had once supported Grismore’s candidacy 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 the actions and integrity of our deputies in reporting this information.”
“Grismore is no longer employed by the FCSO and no longer has my sheriff’s support. Additionally, I have filed the incident with the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council…and they can issue penalties, including removal from office. law enforcement certification.
Grismore was 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 inappropriate for me to comment” on the investigation.
But he added that ‘Captain Grismore’s actions do not reflect the values and high standards of conduct and performance that I expect of my staff every day’.
In the video, a shirtless man wearing jeans is handcuffed with his wrists behind his back while his ankles are tied to a bench. At one point, the inmate gets up and eventually falls on his stomach saying, “Oh, that hurts.
Two deputies appear in frame and help the man up. The detained man then said to a deputy: “Can I smash you in the face?”
Shortly after, Grismore appears to kick the detained man in the stomach. Grismore, who is not in uniform, then appears to poke his foot twice 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 Franklin County’s next sheriff and won his primary unopposed earlier this month. Records show he is running as a Republican.
NBC affiliate WPTZ of Plattsburgh, New York, reported that there had been bipartisan calls for Grismore to drop his name from the November ballot.
“It sets a bad tone,” said Zach Weight, the Republican vying to become Franklin County’s next prosecutor, condemning the video’s content.
John Lavoie, Weight’s opponent in that race and current Franklin County assistant district attorney, agreed.
“I think Captain Grismore should step down,” Lavoie said, WPTZ reported.
Helen Kwong contributed.