[WATCH] Syracuse Won’t Say What Happened to Cops Who Tasered Disabled Man Who Won $2M

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Police Department isn’t saying whether it disciplined two officers involved in an arrest that cost city taxpayers $2 million.

Sgt. William Galvin and Officer William Coleman confronted Brad Hulett in 2013 for refusing orders to sit on a Centro bus. The officers removed Hulett by stunning him with a Taser and dragging him off the bus.

Hulett later said he had back problems that made sitting difficult. The officers broke his hip while dragging him off the bus.

An internal investigation said the officers did not use excessive force. But the $2 million payoff suggests city officials believed a jury would side with Hulett.

Neither city officials nor the department would say whether the officers involved were disciplined in any way.

Sgt. Richard Helterline, a department spokesman, said the department does not comment on personnel matters. Chief Frank Fowler declined to comment.

The city’s corporation counsel, Joseph Fahey, referred questions of discipline to the police department. He pointed out that the department revised its guidelines for use of Tasers following the incident. The revised policy was approved by the New York Civil Liberties Union.

A representative for the Citizen Review Board, which reviews police brutality complaints, said that agency had no involvement in Hulett’s case.

Following the incident, the department’s internal affairs division investigated and found claims of excessive force were unfounded. Sgt. David Brown conducted the investigation. Chief Frank Fowler signed off on Brown’s report, as did Capt. Thomas Galvin, the uncle of Sgt. William Galvin.

The city did not admit wrongdoing in the case, but offered Hulett a $2 million settlement rather than go to trial.

Among the complaints in Hulett’s lawsuit was that the Syracuse Police Department created an environment that emboldened officers to use Tasers.

U.S. District Judge David Hurd allowed that argument to be used in court.

“A jury could conclude that, as a result of SPD leadership’s well-known permissive attitude toward compelled compliance with authority…, (the officers) knew they would not be critically investigated, much less disciplined, for using force on citizens,” Hurd wrote earlier this year. “Consequently, these subordinate officers felt empowered to use force with relative impunity and that, as a result, used excessive force on (Hulett).”

Sgt. Galvin made $159,173 last year and Coleman made $133,107.

Source: http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2017/10/spd_wont_say_whether_cops_who_tasered_disabled_man_were_disciplined.html