Cop Convicted of Assault (Twice), Wants Job Back

You may have seen this video by now, of a Rhode Island police officer kicking a woman while she was handcuffed and sitting on a curb. The officer was convicted of felony assault a few months ago and sentenced to 10 years in prison, but the judge suspended the sentence. Here’s video of a TV report on the situation:


So many levels of appalling here. First of all, the claim that he felt he was in danger is patently absurd. The woman was in handcuffs on the ground; no sane person could possibly consider her a threat. Second, the fact that this guy now wants his job back — and could get it.

The 12-year veteran of the force is fighting to keep his job after he was convicted of felony assault in March. The case is best known for video from a security camera at Twin River in Lincoln showing Krawetz kicking a handcuffed woman to the head.

Under the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights, a three-member panel of police officers will decide his professional fate after what is expected to be three days of hearings.

One panelist was chosen by Krawetz, a second by the Lincoln police chief and the third was agreed to by the two sides. The ‘neutral’ officer was a North Providence policeman, which is why the hearing was set in that town.

Such decisions absolutely should not be made by other police officers. This is why civilian review boards are a necessity. It’s also worth noting that this isn’t this officer’s first problem. He has a previous misdemeanor assault conviction from 2001, which got him suspended for 30 days. This man should be barred from being a police officer anywhere, forever.

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  • slc1

    Why did the judge suspend the sentence? In addition, it would seem that someone convicted of a felony should be barred for life from serving in any capacity in law enforcement.

  • John Hinkle

    …will decide his professional fate after what is expected to be three days of hearings.

    I watched the video without audio, and it looks to me like he kicked her unconscious. She could’ve been severely injured (maybe she was?). Why will it take 3 days of hearings? The guy obviously can’t control himself. He needs to be checked in to the crowbar hotel.

  • Shouldn’t a felony conviction at any time keep you from being a cop? Felons can’t vote for cryin’ out loud, but they can get a job carrying guns and tazers and carte blanc freedom from the law

  • How will the public feel about his reinstatement. The woman was white for pete’s sake

  • machintelligence

    A felony conviction precludes owning (let alone carrying) firearms. Perhaps he is hoping for a desk job.

  • Funny thing too, his old cop job is probably the only job he could get in that community. You have to report your criminal record on job applications these days, and one for violent assault would be a deal kill for most jobs.

  • baal

    Um, punting someone in the back of the head is deadly force. He’s well muscled and the kick was delivered with force. He had other much more reasonable options. She did try to trip him / nudge ineffectually at his shin. He could have taken 1 step back and added a charge of assault to her list.

    A suspended sentence isn’t nothing – if he has any violation in the 10 years, the 10 year jail time will be re-instated. That said, use of deadly force when it’s not merited should have had him out of a job nearly instantly and real jail time.

  • leni

    No, he’s terrified. You can tell by the way he calmly keeps doing whatever it was he was doing. /sarcasm

  • Yeah, I’d expect there to be a policy against letting convicted felons serving as police officers. Life, however, has a way of falling quite short of my ideals, especially when it comes to the cops I read about on this blog.

  • D. C. Sessions

    If they didn’t allow convicted felons to work as police officers, they’d lose too many candidates perfectly suited to the job.

  • Pinky

    I know I am repeating myself, but we desperately need to assert civilian control over police forces. Civilian oversight should not be a panel comprised of good ol boy buds of line police officers or police administration.

  • The trial of the cop in this video began this week. Yet another cop defending himself from an attack by a handcuffed man.

  • Homo Straminus

    I repeat slc1’s question: Why did the judge suspend the sentence? We have a case of documented, blatant assault, and the judge decides to say, “Well, just don’t let me catch you doing it again in the next 10 years!”?? I assume the suspension was a result of him being a police officer, which of course should’ve driven the outcome of the case in the other direction.

    Also, regarding his misdemeanor assault: Ed says that that conviction came in 2001. The blockquote says he’s a 12-year-veteran of the force. So that makes it very likely that this assault occurred in his first year as a police officer. Nevermind the idiocy of keeping an officer like that on the force. Just ask yourself how likely it is that between then and now he’s done a lot more assaultin’ that, if anything, boiled down to his word versus the victim’s. Yet another argument for having tamper-proof video cameras on police officers.

  • I repeat slc1′s question: Why did the judge suspend the sentence?

    In sentencing Krawetz, the judge said that he was moved by a psychologist’s report that Krawetz had been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in 2007.

    Apparently the judge read from the report in open court, but I wouldn’t venture any thoughts without being able to read the entire evaluation itself. I would add that I’m surprised to see a ten-year sentence suspended on the basis of a PTSD diagnosis several years earlier. I’d also like to know if the psychologist was hired by the defense or independently appointed by the court. It’s not supposed to make a difference, but it does.

  • Homo Straminus

    Dr X, thanks!

    And I agree completely with your proposed caveats to the report.

  • Didaktylos

    Sounds like he’s really angling for retirement on disability …

  • michaelcrichton

    machintelligence says:

    A felony conviction precludes owning (let alone carrying) firearms. Perhaps he is hoping for a desk job.

    Any weapon issued to him is owned by the department. It’s quite possible for someone who’s legally not allowed to own a weapon still being able to carry one as part of their job.

  • machintelligence

    Not a lawyer, but I believe the usual charge is felon in possession of a firearm. If a police department was foolish enough to issue one, they would be aiding and abetting.

  • Is PTSD becoming the new insanity defense?