State’s Sheriff Facing Accusations of Kicking Shackled Suspect Loses Certification

( – A Vermont sheriff is losing his law enforcement certification and faces an assault charge after allegedly kicking a prisoner in shackles. The allegations against John Grismore, the sheriff accused of the assault, prompted an investigation and subsequent hearing by the Vermont Criminal Justice Council. After two days, the Vermont Criminal Justice Council found that Grismore violated the Vermont state sheriff’s office’s use of force policy, causing the council to vote 15-1 to remove Grismore’s law enforcement certification.

According to the Vermont Criminal Justice Council’s chair, Bill Sorrell, the decision is meant to discourage future officers from engaging in conduct similar to Grismore’s. Despite removing Grismore’s law enforcement certification, Grismore isn’t losing his job as a sheriff. Instead, Grismore cannot investigate crime scenes, arrest suspects, or issue traffic tickets to those violating traffic laws. Grismore claims that he intends to appeal the decision and have his certification returned.

Grismore won an election in November 2022 despite being fired from the Franklin County sheriff’s office three months prior due to a controversial video featuring Grismore. In the video, Grismore kicks a man in shackles, who appears unable to defend himself. Following the video, authorities charged Grismore with assault, and Grismore pleaded not guilty to the criminal offense. The alleged assault isn’t the only controversy involving Grismore, as the disgraced officer is also the subject of multiple additional investigations.

Shortly before he took office in February, authorities announced an investigation into Grismore’s finances. A special committee with the Vermont state legislature also investigated Grismore for undisclosed reasons concerning a potential impeachment and subsequent removal of Grismore. Despite the controversies involving Grismore, the sheriff isn’t leaving office for the foreseeable future.

Other elected officials are calling for Grismore’s resignation, including the Vermont Sheriff’s Association president, Mark Anderson. According to Anderson, Grismore’s actions are unacceptable and not indicative of how sheriffs should operate. Anderson claims that Grismore should resign so that Franklin County can receive a new sheriff and restore public confidence. Anderson also expressed concerns about how the controversy surrounding Grismore may cause other sheriffs to face unwarranted criticism from members of the public.

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