Manchester Police "Sickened" By Order To Reinstate "Racist Cop"

MANCHESTER, N.H. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Manchester Police Department has responded after being ordered to reinstate and back pay a police officer who was fired two years ago.

In a statement released Friday, MPD said it was "disheartened and disappointed" in a labor arbitrator's recent ruling regarding former officer Aaron Brown.

According to MPD, an investigation was launched in January 2018 after a complaint was made against Brown, and he was placed on leave, stripping him of his police powers.

During the investigation, MPD discovered through Brown’s department-issued cellphone, "text messages in which he claimed to have intentionally damaged property while executing search warrants." MPD also discovered text messages that included "extremely disturbing racist remarks."

The internal investigation was concluded on April 11, 2018 and the Manchester Police Department fired Aaron Brown the next day.

MPD said it immediately notified the Police Standards and Training Council about Brown's firing, after which the Manchester Police Patrolman Association chose to file a grievance over his termination. A hearing took place more than a year later, which MPD said was "far later" than it would have preferred.

During the evidentiary hearing, an arbitrator found that Brown had made the racist comments, but to MPD's "great surprise and disappointment," the arbitrator ruled that termination was too severe a punishment.

The arbitrator said Brown should have only received a 30 day suspension, and ordered his reinstatement as a Manchester police officer. The ruling also called for Brown to receive back pay, minus the 30 day suspension.

"We are extremely saddened and sickened to see that an arbitrator could rule in this manner after hearing this egregious case," MPD said Friday. "We are forced to follow the arbitrator’s decision. However, Chief Carlo Capano refused to implement the arbitrator’s reinstatement order. The Police Union then filed an unfair labor practice charge with the PELRB requesting that it order the Police Department to reinstate Brown. That case is currently pending."

Despite Brown having made no effort to find other employment since the date of his termination, MPD said the City is still required to provide him with substantial back pay. Separate from the issue of reinstatement, MPD and Union are disputing the amount of back pay, if any, that Brown is entitled to receive.

The Manchester Police Department said it has asked the Police Standards and Training Council to review the matter, and determine whether Brown should retain his police certification.

"As it has from the outset, the Manchester Police Department believes that people that hold racist beliefs should not be employed in law enforcement and will lend its full support to the Council as it considers this matter," MPD said.

Chief Carlo Capano said Brown’s actions may have cast a shadow on the agency, but his actions are not representative of the Manchester police department as a whole.

"We will do everything possible to make sure Brown is never in a Manchester Police Uniform again," Chief Capano said. "Sometimes fighting for what is right is difficult and an uphill battle, but we take this very seriously and have no intentions of giving up."

The Chairman of the Manchester Police Commission, Scott Spradling, said there needs to be an examination of New Hampshire's police oversight process, which allows someone like Brown to remain in uniform.

"There is no place for Aaron Brown to continue to work in Manchester PD or at any law-enforcement agency," Spradling said. "His actions and words are despicable and beneath the integrity of our department, whose men and women work tirelessly to serve our community. MPD leadership moved swiftly and appropriately to protect the public from a racist cop. The process has failed our city.

"This ruling cannot simply be accepted," Spradling continued. "This case begs for immediate reforms to ensure the public can maintain faith in law enforcement oversight, knowing that bad actors like Aaron Brown don’t ever get a second chance to work in law enforcement."

Follow WBZ NewsRadio: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | iHeartmedia App

(Photo: Manchester PD)

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content