WATCH: Eugene Police Officer Throws Down and Punches Handcuffed DUI Suspect

Shaymond Michelson knew a night of drinking had gone badly when he woke up in a jail cell with a face so swollen he had a hard time talking. A police officer wrote in a report he hadn’t followed orders. A Navy vet, Michelson trusted that he deserved what he got.

But weeks later, a police sergeant came to his home carrying a laptop. He opened it on the kitchen table. Michelson and his fiancee huddled around to watch a silent video recorded at the jail’s entrance. The sergeant pressed play.

The video shows Michelson walking toward the door, handcuffed and swaying. He stops. The officer behind him is talking, nodding sharply. Then the officer shoves him. He lurches forward and plants his feet. The officer grabs his neck and throws him to his back on the concrete floor. The officer pins him there, a shin over his chest and throat. A jail deputy arrives, and Michelson kicks toward the deputy’s head. The deputy catches his foot and starts to roll him over. The officer punches him in the face. Then again and again and again and again and again.

Michelson said watching the video was surreal. He replayed it over and over. His fiancee had to walk away.

He asked Scott McKee, the sergeant who brought the video, whether the arresting officer was allowed to do things like that. The sergeant said no.

“It looked like a pro wrestling move,” said McKee, who criminally investigated the officer’s actions. “And the guy’s handcuffed. There’s no regard for how he lands. There’s none.”

Michelson wanted Officer Charles Caruso to be held accountable. He told the city of Eugene he planned to sue. He didn’t have to. Eugene paid out $100,000 and fired the officer.

But Caruso escaped without criminal charges. And the people who held the power to take his badge for good chose to do nothing.

The Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training wins national praise for holding police officers accountable for bad behavior. Academics, journalists and regulators in other states describe the department as a model.

But an investigation by The Oregonian/OregonLive found that state regulators took no action to sideline dozens of officers fired for chronically inept police work. Or worse.

The department let fired officers remain eligible to work even after they accumulated records of brutality, recklessness, shoddy investigations and anger management problems.

Regulators quietly closed one case after an officer was fired for using excessive force on two handcuffed suspects and for driving 120 mph, at night, through a construction zone. They closed the case of another fired officer whose disciplinary records show he botched investigations, refused to finish police reports, failed to show up at court proceedings, abused sick time and earned a reputation for being volatile and rude.

Regulators have chosen to shy away from some of the public’s greatest concerns about policing, interviews with agency officials show.

They don’t think it’s their job to punish officers for brutality.

They don’t think it’s their job to punish officers for incompetence.

They don’t think it’s their job to even contemplate punishing officers who haven’t been convicted of a crime or who haven’t lost their jobs.

They hardly ever perform their own investigations. The department employs only two investigators for the more than 10,000 police officers, corrections officers, dispatchers and parole and probation officers in the state. The investigators rely on documents that employers send them and almost never follow up once those documents arrive. Some police departments do a better job of investigating their own than others. As a result, officers are not held to the same standard across the state.

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