Providence cops captain who knocked suspect’s head will combat termination

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI)– Providence Cops Captain Stephen Gencarella prepares to eliminate the department’s effort to fire him, looking for a hearing under the state Police Officers’ Expense of Rights.

Cops Chief Hugh Clements recently revealed the department’s suggestion that Gencarella be ended after being recorded on video smashing a suspect’s face into the ground throughout the city’s 4 th of July event at India Point.

Gencarella, who is presently on paid injured-on-duty leave for an undefined injury he sustained throughout the exact same event, had 5 days to either accept the penalty or combat it by asking for a LEOBOR hearing.

The captain’s objective to contest his termination was verified by Vincent Ragosta, a lawyer prosecuting the LEOBOR case on behalf the the Cops Department. Gencarella’s lawyer, Michael Colucci, decreased to comment.

” We mean to follow the stringent requirements of LEOBOR and not use any public commentary,” Colucci stated.

Gencarella is likewise the topic of a criminal examination by the R.I. Attorney general of the United States’s workplace. A representative for Attorney general of the United States Peter Neronha stated Tuesday the examination is continuous, and did not have a timeline for when a choice would be made on whether to submit charges.

Clements composed in his termination letter recently that Gencarella’s actions were a “clear offense” of the city’s use-of-force policy and training, and likewise implicated him of depending on his after-action report about the event.

The 51-second cellular phone video, taped by a spectator, reveals part of Gencarella and Lt. Matthew Jennette’s arrest of Armando Rivas, whom cops state was double parked throughout the city’s fireworks reveal on July 3.

The cops report states Rivas was yelling obscenities at cops for calling a tow truck for his car, and was declining to adhere to Jennette’s commands. Cops state Rivas withstood Jennette’s efforts to detain him, and Gencarella ran over to the scene.

The video at first reveals the 2 officers utilizing “discomfort compliance methods” in order to handcuff Rivas, Clements keeps in mind in his letter. However after Rivas was laying on the ground in handcuffs, Gencarella is seen getting the 21-year-old’s hair and knocking his face into the pavement.

The cops report and after-action report, composed later on by Jennette and Gencarella, declares Gencarella utilized a “palm-heel strike” to Rivas’ head.

” This strike is not portrayed on the video,” Clements composed in the letter. “What is recorded on the video is the grabbing of Rivas’s hair by you and you powerfully pressing his head/face into the pavement.”

Clements composed that Gencarella’s actions total up to “offenses of criminal law and the civil liberties of Armando Rivas.”

Neither officer taped the event on body-worn video camera– Gencarella had not even been provided one– which belongs to the internal examination into the matter.

The LEOBOR hearing procedure includes a panel of 3 police officers, active or retired, who identify the implicated officer’s fate. One panelist is chosen by the implicated officer, another by the cops department, and a 3rd is chosen equally.

Ragosta stated Gencarella has actually chosen Captain Michael Smith of the Smithfield Cops Department as his designee to the LEOBOR panel.

It’s uncertain when a LEOBOR hearing may occur. If Gencarella is charged with a criminal offense, the whole procedure would be postponed till after the criminal case is adjudicated. (Cops Sgt. Joseph Hanley, whom cops likewise wish to fire for an April 2020 event, stays used for this factor.)

Steph Machado ( is a Target 12 investigative press reporter covering Providence, politics and more for 12 News. Get in touch with her on Twitter and on Facebook