Judge: Charlottesville Police officer used excessive, unreasonable force
A Charlottesville Police officer was found guilty on Friday of assault and battery for his actions in a March 3 arrest, but will not spend time behind bars.
Judge Theresa Carter ruled that Jeffrey Jaeger had used excessive and unreasonable force, according to reporting by NBC 29, in the arrest of a man involved in a verbal argument on Prospect Avenue, and sentenced Jaeger to a year in jail, but suspended the sentence, and placed Jaeger on two years of unsupervised probation.
The March 3 incident involved Carter and two other CPD officers who had responded to a call for service on Prospect Avenue.
Jaeger was heard in body-cam footage presented as evidence in the case saying he was detaining one of the men involved in the argument, Andre Henderson, for disorderly conduct, though later it came to the fore that Henderson’s detention was not for disorderly conduct, but rather an outstanding warrant from another jurisdiction.
The cam footage showed that Jaegar initiated contact by grabbing Henderson, who was standing still during the encounter with his hands by his sides, then ran several feet with Henderson’s hands clutched in his grasp before shoving Henderson’s head into a fenced enclosure, causing a laceration and swelling.
Jaeger was ultimately charged in the incident on Sept. 1, nearly six months later.
“[T]hose we entrust with a badge and charge with keeping our community safe must reflect the best of us. Unfortunately, that standard was not met in this instance,” said Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Platania, who prosecuted the case.
“Our community and our criminal justice system rely on the integrity of police officers and we must hold accountable those who abuse their positions of power and trust. But the acts of one should also not reflect on the ethical and professional conduct of the rest of the committed public servants in the Charlottesville Police Department.”