Torrington police sergeant terminated following excessive use of force investigation


Warning: Some content in this video may be disturbing

TORRINGTON, Conn. (WTNH)– A police sergeant accused of using excessive force on a man, who was in custody, has been fired. The incident from last May was caught on camera.

Torrington police said the 19-year veteran of the department, Gerald “Jay” Peters, violated department policy when he sprayed the victim and took him to the ground. The victim, Christopher Spetland, didn’t sustain serious injuries.

“Although mouthy, he was not actively resisting in any way,” explained Torrington Police Chief Bill Baldwin. “He is sitting in a chair, he’s handcuffed against his back, [and] didn’t warrant the type of force that Sgt. Peters used against this individual.”

In the video, you can hear Peters say, “I’ve had enough, are you done yet? Are you done with the kicking and fighting with the officers, are you done yet? Are you finished?”

Chief Baldwin said they conducted an extensive, thorough investigation following this incident.

“Life is about choices and sometimes, when you make bad choices, you have to pay the consequences,” said Chief Baldwin  

But, Peters and his attorney are calling this decision unfair. 

“The video only tells ten seconds of it,” said Gerald Peters, Jr.

That’s why they’re fighting this.

“The actions taken were always in the best interest of public safety, officer safety, and liability to the city,” explained Peters. “That’s how I’ve always looked at things and that’s how I’ve always done the job.”

Peters is hoping to resolve this in the “best way possible.”

“It’s a large misunderstanding,” said Peters.

Chief Baldwin said they stand by their decision.

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