(Photo by Ken Robinson / WTAM)
(LAKEWOOD) - A Lakewood police officer is being sued after he was accused of breaking a teen's jaw at a local library. The November incident happened at the Lakewood Public Library's Madison branch and was recorded on Kevin Jones' body camera. The suit claims the officer used excessive force against a 17-year-old girl "breaking her jaw and causing her other physical and emotional injuries." Jones was given a 40 hour unpaid suspension and is not permitted to work off-duty at the library. Meanwhile, other cops accused of waiting to get the teenager medical assistance are also named as defendants.
The City of Lakewood released the following statement:
We have received a complaint involving one of our police officers' handling of an incident at the Madison branch of Lakewood Library in November 2016. On November 7, 2016 a Lakewood Police Officer, Kevin Jones, was working off duty at the Lakewood Public Library. He encountered a 17 year old female in the Library and spoke to her about violations of the Library rules. The officer advised the female she would have to leave the library due to the rules violations. The officer took hold of the female and began escorting her to the front door. The officer took hold of the female by the arm and back of the neck and they fell to the ground. The officer then put the female in a full nelson type hold and began taking her out of the building. They fell again to the ground with the officer falling on top of the female. The female sustained an injury to her mouth as a result of the fall. An investigation was commenced by the Lakewood Police Department into the actions by Officer Jones. He was placed on Administrative Leave and prohibited from working off duty employment.
On December 19th a hearing was conducted on Departmental charges for using unreasonable and unwarranted force, bringing discredit to the Lakewood Police Department and not activating his body worn camera at the appropriate time. Officer Jones was issued a 40 hour unpaid suspension, referred to the employee assistance program, received additional training,and denied permission to work off duty at the Lakewood Library. When employees act outside of their training and responsibilities they are held accountable. The Lakewood Police Department trains their employees to de-escalate encounters and to only use force when reasonable and required. The city will be responding more fully to the complaint as part of the court process.