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Vermont sheriff accused of kicking shackled suspect loses certification

A Vermont sheriff charged with assault for kicking a shackled prisoner is losing his law enforcement certification.

After hearing two days of testimony, the Vermont Criminal Justice Council on Wednesday found that Franklin County Sheriff John Grismore violated the state’s use of force policy and voted 15-1 that he permanently lose his ability to enforce the law in Vermont.


“Hopefully, law enforcement officers who might think of engaging in this kind of conduct will think not just twice, but many more times before engaging in this way,” said Bill Sorrell, the chair of the Vermont Criminal Justice Council, WCAX-TV reported.

Grismore will not lose his job as sheriff but he will no longer be able to issue tickets, make arrests, and investigate crimes. He said he plans to appeal.

“Demonstrating to law enforcement officers that they will lose their career by going out of their way to try to assist and intervene with unruly and dangerous individuals is going to have an extreme chilling effect,” his attorney, Robert Kaplan, said, according to mynbc5.

Grismore was elected sheriff in November of last year even though he was fired from a job as a captain in the Franklin County sheriff’s department that August after video surfaced of him kicking a shackled prisoner. He pleaded not guilty to a simple assault charge.

Just before he took office in February, state police said they were investigating the finances of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department and Grismore. He is also facing the results of an investigation by a special committee of the Vermont Legislature formed to investigate his possible impeachment. The committee is scheduled to meet on Monday.

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