Sunday, September 28, 2008

Two Officers Accused of Beating Black Man After Traffic Stop


A Montgomery police officer was fired and another officer was placed on administrative leave Saturday shortly after allegedly beating a black man Friday night.

Twan Reynolds and his wife, Lauren Reynolds, accuse Patrolmen Shawn Hutchison and Matthew Leavitt of repeatedly hitting Twan Reynolds over the head with a blackjack, kicking him in the back and spraying his eyes with mace at close range.

They also say Leavitt repeatedly used a racial epithet against Reynolds, and Lauren Reynolds accused Leavitt of licking her on the neck during an interrogation and saying, "Little whore, you like it like that."

Leavitt denied that he did anything improper. He said Twan Reynolds became violent more than once and had to be subdued.

Montgomery Mayor Jim Higgins said he fired Officer Shawn Hutchinson for insubordination. Higgins explained that Hutchinson was a probationary officer, so he was terminated immediately.

Higgins said he will decide about Officer Matthew Levitt later. Levitt is also facing a charge of insubordination.

"I am still gathering information," Higgins said Saturday.

The Mayor said Montgomery Chief of Police Pete Lopez is investigating the allegations that the officers were abusive to a Montgomery husband and wife.

Higgins also explained that he is not able to comment on the allegations against the officers because he is also the town's municipal judge. He said he expects the case to come before him in municipal court.