Syracuse Police Department policy on officer demeanor during traffic stops

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Two Syracuse Police Officers have been cleared of any wrongdoing on use of force, but are being disciplined for their demeanor during a controversial traffic stop May 31.

SPD has a specific policy on how officers are expected to act during a traffic stop.

Chief Kenton Buckner says Officers Christopher Buske and Leonard Brown violated that policy more than once.

He says, “Our overall approach to the call, the language we used with the individuals and that’s the primary violation of the demeanor policy.”

The Chief did point specifically to a clip from Officer Brown’s body camera during the incident with Shaolin Moore on the ground being handcuffed.

“You’re an idiot man, you’re a complete idiot.  Good job taking a trip to jail,” the officer was heard saying.

Chief Buckner says he looked at the entire incident under three lenses: The law, Syracuse Police Department and SPD training.

“In summary, I have determined that the language and initial manner of interacting with Mr. Moore was not consistent with the policy or my expectations of how officers should interact with the public in a professional way and for that the two officers have been disciplined,” Buckner says.

He adds while the demeanor of the officers was improper, they did as trained, give instructions clearly of what they were doing and why and in this case the Moore was under arrest for a noise ordinance violation.

The Chief points out that in 2018 the City had just under 3,700 noise complaints and already this year about 1,600.

Buckner does say there is room for improvement, that when appropriate officers should when they have time to take time and that will be a point of emphasis in department training going forward.

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For more local news, follow Jeff Kulikowsky on Twitter @JeffNC9

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