Officer suspended for improper force


Published: Thursday, August 1, 2002 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, August 1, 2002 at 12:00 a.m.

By CINDY SWIRKO

Sun staff writer

A Gainesville police officer who struck a suspect on the shoulder at the base of his neck with a flashlight was suspended for 10 hours for improper use of force.

Officer Rabindranauth Narayan struck the suspect, who was fighting Narayan, in an area that could have killed him or caused unconsciousness, serious bodily injury or shock, according to an internal affairs investigation.

The incident happened Jan. 31 when Narayan and another officer were arresting a suspect for possession and sale of cocaine, the report said.

The suspect violently resisted attempts to handcuff him. Narayan had been hit in the head twice by the suspect, according to the report.

Narayan hit the suspect with a downward blow of the flashlight on his shoulder by his neck. Narayan acknowledged to investigators he hit the man on a part of the body that should not be hit, adding he did not intend to hit him in that spot, the report said.

GPD training officers said the area is not a "primary striking area" because it is so close to the head and increases the chance of an accidental strike to the head if the suspect moves or the officer's aim is off.

Chief Norman Botsford signed off on the discipline - a 10-hour suspension without pay, 10 hours loss of leave and remedial training in the use of force and the use of striking instruments.

Cindy Swirko can be reached at 374-5024 or Cindy.swirko@gainesvillesun.com.

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