Nov
24
2017
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Police

The Village has terminated its employment agreement with RJ Hawley, the police officer in charge of the New Year's Eve Ball Drop incident.

Hawley leaves Yellow Springs police

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Village Council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing Village Manager Patti Bates to terminate the Village’s employment agreement with Officer RJ Hawley at Council’s May 1 meeting.

Hawley was the senior officer on duty during the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop incident in which police acted in ways that many villagers found aggressive and dangerous. During the event, officers attempted to disperse the crowd by moving through it in their cruisers with sirens blaring and lights blazing. Hawley also aimed a taser at a young black man, David Carlson, then tackled him after Carlson allegedly pinned Hawley in his cruiser. Hawley charged Carlson with a fifth degree felony in obstructing police business, and also charged Village Council member Marianne MacQueen with a misdemeanor for the same offense. MacQueen’s charge was later dropped and Carlson’s was reduced to a misdemeanor.

In a report by independent investigator David Williamson, Hawley was identified as having directed the actions of the other officers, who were Jeff Beam, Mark Charles and Allison Saurber. The police created a “volatile” situation during the event, the investigator stated, and Hawley was further identified as having inappropriately aimed the taser when he aimed it at Carlson.

At the May 1 Council meeting, Village Solicitor Chris Conard said the termination is a joint agreement between Hawley and the Village.

“This is a mutual resolution that’s in the best interests of all involved,” Conard said.

The vote was 4-0-1, with MacQueen abstaining.

See the May 4 Yellow Springs News for a more detailed story on the Council meeting, and the termination of Hawley.

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Hawley leaves Yellow Springs police

by Diane Chiddister