Binghamton Councilmembers Call for Independent Review of Arrest
The three Democratic members of Binghamton City Council want an independent investigation into the actions of a police officer during a New Year's Day arrest.
Angela Riley, Aviva Friedman and Joe Burns gathered Monday afternoon at Hawley and State streets near the site where Hamail Waddell was injured while being taken into police custody.
Cellphone video appears to show police officer Brad Kaczynski knelling on Waddell's neck. Waddell was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Kaczynski was placed on desk duty while the police department investigates the incident.
The three councilmembers are calling on the city to hire "an independent third-party to investigate the police use-of-force incident" that occurred around 3:20 a.m. January 1.
According to the request for legislation, the action "will allow for the most objective and transparent investigation" of the matter.
Speaking with reporters across the street from Binghamton police headquarters, Friedman said the goal is to assure city residents that there is no conflict of interest in the review.
Reading from a prepared statement, Friedman said the Democratic members of city council are calling for Kaczynski to be suspended until an independent investigation has been completed. Mayor Jared Kraham has said Kaczynski "will remain on desk duty" until the police department's review has been concluded.
The Democrats' request for an independent investigation would need the support of one Republican councilmember to be approved.
The New York state attorney general's office has requested Binghamton's records of the incident and information related to a complaint filed by Waddell.
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