Fired New Hampshire Police Officer Enters Arbitration
Saturday, January, 24, 2015
Former Seabrook Police Officer Adam Laurent, terminated after his involvement in a police brutality case in July of 2014, is seeking to be re-instated. Laurent and the town have entered into binding arbitration as per the terms of the police union contract.
The incident in question involves a surveillance video taken in 2009 within the Seabrook police station, which shows Laurent and another officer attacking a handcuffed prisoner and using pepper spray on him while he lies prone on the floor. At several moments during the video, Laurent can be seen looking directly at the camera and smiling. The video was not released to the public until 2014, and caused uproar in the small town.
Three separate investigations were launched: One by the New Hampshire Attorney General, one by the federal Bureau of Investigation, and one by the town’s Internal Affairs department. The internal investigation's findings were used to justify the firing of the officers involved in the incident, which was met with clear community support.
While the other officers involved in the incident have been indicted for assault, Laurent was not charged with a crime. On this basis he is seeking his job back. However the town opposes re-instating Laurent, reflecting public opinion that Laurent is unfit for service as a police officer. The police union however is seeking that all the fired officers be re-instated. Such filings are becoming standard, with police unions always seeking reinstatement no matter what the circumstances of dismissals are.