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Police Officer Arrested In Excessive Force Incident, Westchester DA Says

Mount Vernon Police Department.
Mount Vernon Police Department. Photo Credit: File

A police officer in the area has been arrested for allegedly using excessive force with a woman who was handcuffed, intoxicated, and under arrest.

Flanked by his lawyer, Mount Vernon Police officer Ryan Hughes turned himself in to the Westchester District Attorney’s Office in White Plains, where he was charged with reckless endangerment after allegedly manhandling a woman in his custody.

The arrest comes amid national protests over the police-related death of George Floyd.

Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino Jr. said that on Aug. 24 last year, inside the Mount Vernon Police Department, Hughes injured an intoxicated woman who had been arrested and was due to be interviewed.

It is alleged that Hughes pushed the woman into an interview room with “sufficient force that she tripped over a small garbage pail and stumbled across the room.”

The woman struck the far cinderblock wall of the interrogation room and fell to the ground. Scarpino said that because the woman was handcuffed, she was unable to break her fall.

The DA noted that before entering the interview room, the woman was "clearly intoxicated and complaining of injury." She subsequently received medical attention after being shoved.

According to Scarpino, his office received a video recording from the Mount Vernon Police Department in January this year as they investigated the claims of excessive force. He noted that the investigation was slowed down due to the COVID-19 outbreak and restrictions.

“As a former FBI agent, I was sworn to uphold the law just as I am today as the chief law enforcement officer of this county,” Scarpino said. “I take every action by a police officer very personally and will not allow anyone to get away with hurting the people of Westchester or the communities they are sworn to serve.

“This is a case where, sadly, a police officer has tarnished the reputation of his department and law enforcement officers everywhere,” he continued. “Use of excessive force, or corrupt actions by any police officer, is a crime and will be prosecuted.”

Following his arrest, Hughes was released and issued an appearance to appear back in court on Thursday, June 25.

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