Paducah Police Officer terminated for excessive use of force
A Paducah Police officer lost his job Monday night for using excessive force. The Paducah Board of Commissioners found former Officer Michael Redmon violated law enforcement procedures by choking a suspect, Joseph Cerullo. Redmon’s termination is effective immediately.
The tone of the trial included some colorful language that was brought up constantly during testimony. Several described Joseph Cerullo saying multiple times to Redmon, "an effing pig."
One by one, Lourdes hospital employees, security officers, and Paducah Police Officers were brought in to tell the board what they saw happen. Doctor Dawn Pingleton described what she saw. She said, "while (Cerullo’s) hips where down, he was like this, so (Cerullo) was in a contorted position."
Officer John Driskill believes Michael Redmon was justified in his actions only given deadly force. "Just because they’re in handcuffs doesn’t mean they’re not a threat," he says.
Both Redmon and Paducah Police Chief Brandon Barnhill testified. Barnhill said he immediately knew the severity of the situation once the report was turned in. "I support my decision," Barnhill says. "Officer Redmon was given an opportunity initially to resign he refused that."
Redmon said it was important everyone know exactly how his hands slipped in those few minutes he said went by so fast. "I had him against the wall like this and said ‘Can you please go get some help,’" he says.
But the board reached a decision to terminate after 12 years experience. Redmon and his attorney, Jeremy Ian Smith, say they will choose to go through an appeals process. Smith says it wasn’t the argument they lost, but the process which found him guilty.
"It’s not surprising when you have a situation where the attorney that’s essentially prosecuting the matter also represents the fact grinder on specifically a case involving alleged police brutality," he says.
Paducah police released a statement on Redmon’s termination. Chief Brandon Barnhill says Redmon did not meet the department’s level of professionalism. "We must be justified in situations where force is used in order to maintain integrity within our agency, the profession, and our community," he says.
Redmon faces three options. He could either be fired, face another form of punishment, or the board could rule in his favor. The board listened to testimony all day. Both Chief of Police Brandon Barnhill and Officer Michael Redmon testified. The prosecution argues Officer Redmon choked Cerullo against police protocol, grabbing his throat and holding him up against a wall, feet dangling.
They say Redmon was grumpy going into the job that day, but the defense argues he is a dutiful officer who’s actions were misinterpreted. They say his hands slipped and there was no physical evidence Cerullo was choked.
"The severity of the allegations, I thought it was in the best interest of Officer Redmon and the community to place Officer Redmon on paid suspension until the ultimate determination where the charges came about Officer Redmon," Barnhill says.
Redmon described and reenacted the events. "It all happened so fast, y’all," he says.
There were 13 total witnesses called today. Paducah police conducted the initial internal investigation.