- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Three New Orleans police officers were fired Wednesday and a fourth was suspended after an investigation of body-worn camera video showed one of the officers striking a handcuffed man being held for alleged public intoxication.

The Sept. 30 incident happened at the police station in the French Quarter. Police said it followed an argument between officer Alfred Moran and the handcuffed man. The man did not require hospitalization.

Police said an investigation was launched after an internal review of body-worn camera footage.

“I expect our officers to follow the law, to follow our policies and our training, and to be honest,” Police Chief Michael Harrison said. “I am extremely disappointed that these officers did not perform to our standards. Today’s decision demonstrates that the NOPD is committed to ethical and constitutional policing and that we will not tolerate anything less.”

In addition to Moran, two other officers - identified as Lewis Simmons and Christopher Jennings - were fired for failing to report the incident. Another, Jeffery Tyler, was suspended for five days.

An attorney and spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police, which represented the men in a disciplinary hearing, said in an emailed statement that an appeal has already been filed.

“In this case, the video evidence, which was inconclusive, was relied on entirely in spite of testimonial evidence to the contrary,” Donovan Livaccari said. “Christopher Jennings was a 7-year veteran with a spotless record. It would seem prudent to give more weight to his statements in regard to what he saw or did not see instead of assuming what he saw or did not see based on a video recording.”

Questionable use of force, sometimes lethal force, led Mayor Mitch Landrieu to call for federal investigations of the police department soon after he took office in 2010. The result was a court-approved agreement for numerous reforms.

Accompanying Wednesday’s news release were documents outlining the department’s use of force policies and minutes from a federal court hearing in May, during which the department was credited for making significant progress in officer training and in use-of-force investigations.


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