Thursday, February 16, 2012

Henderson, We've Had a Problem. (And Maybe Now It's Being Fixed?)

Last weekend, we saw more outrage over Henderson Police beating (and kicking to the head) an unarmed man to turned out to be experiencing diabetes related convulsion. And today, it looks like Henderson's Police Chief is retiring because of it.

Embattled Henderson Police Chief Jutta Chambers announced in a meeting with staff Thursday that she would retire effective March 1, a city spokesman said.

Chambers’ retirement comes in the wake of criticism and calls for her resignation) after a video was released last week showing a Henderson Police officer kicking a restrained driver in the head five times during an October 2010 traffic stop. The driver was suffering insulin shock.

The motorist, Adam Greene, and his wife agreed to approximately $158,000 settlement with the city last week.

In a news conference Thursday morning, Mayor Andy Hafen said the Greene incident troubled the city council and that members asked City Manager Mark Calhoun, who announced his retirement earlier this week, to discuss the matter with Chambers.

Deputy Police Chief James White will take over as acting chief, and the new city manager will have the responsibility of hiring a permanent replacement, Hafen said.

Well, at least this is a start. It would also help if Sgt. Brett Seekatz, the officer who kicked Adam Greene in the head, is finally properly reprimanded for his despicable behavior. And Henderson PD needs to make sure officers know that this is unacceptable behavior that should never be repeated.

At least it looks like the City of Henderson is finally realizing the severity of this problem. A growing number of residents just don't trust the police any more. And if law enforcement can't be trusted to follow the law themselves, then who can be effective at enforcing the law?

Hopefully, this is the start of Henderson cleaning house at police headquarters.

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