City of Utica Calls For Suspended Officer’s Termination After Excessive Force With a Suspect

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UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR-TV)— On the evening of September 4th, Utica Police responded to a 911 call for a domestic dispute on the 700 block of Spring Street. The caller said that the suspect, Kerwin Taylor, threatened her with a gun. When police arrived they confiscated Taylor’s illegal firearm and struggled to arrest him.

The body cam footage shows the suspect trying to flee the scene then resisting arrest. Officer Matthew Filetto arrived to transport the suspect into custody. Fast forward 9 minutes into the video, and you can see that Taylor is being put into the transport van, while handcuffed on the ground. The suspect then spit onto officer Filetto. The shadows on the side of the van show Filetto stomping on the suspect’s head at least 4 times. Another officer can be heard yelling stop, before stopping the assault. Filetto immediately contacted his supervisors to tell them what happened.

“Excessive force will not be tolerated and we will take swift actions against those who violate our policies. We are professionals and we need to conduct ourselves as professionals and not let our emotions get the best of us. Despite the conduct of what you’re going to see with the defendant here Mr. Kerwin Taylor, no person deserves to be mistreated by the police. I do want to commend the actions of the other officers that responded to this call. They actually did a phenomenal job.” – Chief Mark Williams, Utica Police Department

“The young man was given a 30-day suspension without pay. Under the current contracts, we are looking for termination. It’s also been brought up to the district attorney’s office. And I think that’s something the public has to understand. The fact that we will, as we say we will do, everything in our power to make sure there’s accountability, transparency and trust.” – Mayor Robert Palmieri, (D)-Utica

The Oneida County District Attorney’s office is actively investigating the assault for possible criminal charges again officer Filetto. Taylor was taken to an area hospital and given a Cat-scan. Authorities tell us the test did not show any severe injuries.The suspect is currently in custody and facing multiple firearm related charges and resisting arrest.

Chief Williams says the investigation is ongoing and that they will view the body-cam footage from the other officers at the scene. No word yet on when police will make a decision about Filetto’s termination, but Williams says that he will not return to work after the 30-day suspension period is up.

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