SCHENECTADY — Following an internal investigation, city Police Officer Brian Pommer has been formally disciplined for violating two city Police Department policies during his handling of a controversial arrest this summer.
Pommer agreed to be suspended for six days without pay and undergo seven days of field training.
The probe cited Pommer for discourtesy while using an expletive following his scuffle with Yugeshwar Gaindarpersaud, who ran away when Pommer attempted to take him into custody for allegedly slashing his neighbor’s tires.
The other violation was for failing to review surveillance camera footage that his neighbor claimed captured Gaindarpersaud committing the act before approaching him.
That footage was ultimately inconclusive.
A report released by the county District Attorney’s Office last month said had the officer viewed the footage instead of relying on a secondhand account, he probably would not have approached Gaindarpersaud in the same way and would not have not “sought to forcibly detain him.”
Pommer called Gaindarpersaud a “f—–g asshole” while escorting the handcuffed man from his backyard following a brief struggle. During the struggle Pommer knelt on Gaindarpersaud’s head to keep him under control until backup arrived. He also punched him several times in the torso.
Pommer has been on desk duty since the July 6 altercation.
A formal hearing was held Oct. 28 — the same day the county district attorney released his report on the arrest and Gaindarpersaud appeared in court — and police discipline was handed down by newly-installed Assistant Police Chief Daryl Mallard.
Pommer signed off on the agreement, which was co-signed by city Public Safety Commissioner Michael Eidens, city Police Chief Eric Clifford and Schenectady PBA President P.J. Mullen.
As part of the agreement, the city agreed not to pursue additional disciplinary charges or actions against Pommer, a seven-year veteran of the department.
Pommer was found not to be in violation of six additional department policies related to the arrest, and the county district attorney’s report determined he did not violate any criminal laws during the controversial encounter, which inflamed racial tensions in the city and helped fuel Black Lives Matter protests throughout the summer.
Criminal mischief charges against Gaindarpersaud were dropped, while a charge of resisting arrest will be dropped if he stays out of trouble for six months.