UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – The City of Utica and Utica Police Department has announced that Police Sergeant S. Geddes, the officer who was removed from the force stemming from a civilian complaint after an ‘officer-involved incident’ that occurred in September of 2020, has been cleared of the charge of Excessive Force and will be reinstated to full duty.
On Sunday, August 23rd, 2020, Sergeant S. Geddes arrived at the 900 block of Blandina Street for a call involving a domestic dispute. The complaint that was filed questioned his conduct undertaken while investigating the call and the use of pepper spray on a juvenile on the scene.
The initial investigation concluded that Sergeant Geddes was to receive a 30-day suspension without pay, followed by a full termination by the city on the charges of conduct unbecoming of an officer and the use of excessive force. This termination was appealed by Geddes and his attorneys. The disciplinary process then moved into arbitration with the city.
On April 18th, 2022, a mutually agreed-upon arbitrator found Sergeant S. Geddes guilty of Conduct Unbecoming of an Officer and issued an additional 5-day suspension from duty, for a total of 35-days. Additionally, Sergeant Geddes has been ordered to attend and complete anger management and effective communication classes in order to learn how to de-escalate confrontational situations before he can return to active duty.
Based on a report from the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office, which concluded that Geddes’ use of pepper spray was “appropriate under the circumstances”, as well as Sergeant Geddes’ prior “exemplary record”, the arbitrator cleared Sergeant Geddes of the Excessive Force charge.
At the conclusion of his additional 5-day suspension time, Sergeant S. Geddes will return to full-time active duty.