Two Meriden, Connecticut officers have been suspended following an incident in which they joked about shooting a drunk man who was passed out in the middle of the street and threatened to pepper spray him.
According to the Daily Mail, recently-released dash cam footage shows MPD officer John Slepski threatening and verbally abusing the man after responding to a call with officer John Slezak in September of last year.
Climbing out of his police cruiser, Slepski can be heard calling the man a “f***ing a**hole” before telling Slezak in a jokingly terse manner- “I think we ought to just f***ing pop him.”
Because Slezak did not active his car’s lights, there is no audio or video recording from his side.
Slepski’s recording captures him repeatedly reviling, including calling him a “f***ing douchebag” before suggesting the use of pepper spray to wake him up.
Slezak can be heard agreeing with Slepski, who unholstered his pepper spray. Immediately after, the drunken man sat up.
Initially, investigators believed Slepski had used spray on the man- but after conducting a probe, they concluded that the liquid had not been deployed.
Slezak, caught on Slepski’s microphone, can also be heard questioning whether the man is really drunk, saying he simply wants a ride to the hospital.
The officers managed to persuade him to get up and walk over to the curb, Slepski all the while continuing to verbally abuse the man.
The incident was subsequently brought to the attention of their department’s internal affairs unit, who suspended Slepski without pay for 60 days and Slezak for five.
However, an attorney for Slezak said he will be fighting the punishment, adding that the footage does not show the second officer behaving inappropriately.
Meriden Police Department was not available for comment.
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