Providence Officer Will Be Disciplined For Punching, Dragging Woman

Oct 7, 2016

Cell phone video of the incident was released by Channel 10.

After an internal police investigation, Providence officers will be disciplined and receive retraining over an incident in which an officer dragged a woman by the hair and punched her several times.

The arrest, which happened in May, was caught on cell phone video, but came to light only after Channel 10 brought the tape to police in July. 

"There are some things that could have been done differently," said Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare. "After reviewing it, we've come to the conclusion that discipline of this officer and the other officers is the appropriate remedy."

Pare said the Rhode Island Attorney General's office reviewed the incident, along with the police department and the U.S. Department of Justice, which was asked to weigh in from a civil rights perspective.

The force the officer used "was justified and lawful," according to Pare. Still, the incident might have gone differently.

"If he had waited for additional officers to get to the scene then we would would have had enough personnel that that it didn’t get out of hand," said Pare, adding that language heard in the video was "unprofessional." 

Pare declined to be specific about the level of discipline the officers will face, saying only that it can range from a reprimand to a suspension and will remain on the officers' permanent records.

Providence's police department recently received federal matching funds to equip the police force with body cameras.