Yellow Springs terminates officer in charge of New Year’s Eve debacle

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Yellow Springs police, holiday revelers clash on New Year's Eve

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The village has voted to end the employment of an officer in charge during a New Year’s Eve Ball Drop, the second department departure since the holiday celebration that turned into public upheaval.

Officer Randall Hawley Jr.’s employment will end Thursday, according to a statement from the village. The Village Council voted 4-0 Monday night to end Hawley’s employment with Councilwoman Marianne MacQueen abstaining, according to the village.

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This week’s “separation agreement was reached in discussions with Officer Hawley and his counsel following the completion of the outside investigation” into the New Year’s Eve incident, according to the village.

Village Manager Patti Bates did not respond Tuesday afternoon to specific questions about the separation agreement between the village and Hawley.

RELATED: Report critical of police response New Year’s Eve

Shortly after the New Year’s Eve debacle during which officers were accused of using heavy-handed tactics to disperse more than 100 revelers, Police Chief David Hale resigned. He was succeeded by Brian Carlson, who was appointed interim chief in late February.

The council will conduct an internal search for a permanent chief. An appointment is expected in June, according to the village.

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The holiday incident was the latest of several high-profile disputes between police and residents dating back to 2013, when resident Paul Schenck ultimately was killed by SWAT members who used both a helicopter and armored vehicle during the four-hour standoff and shoot-out.

In 2014, Sgt. Naomi Penrod was charged with assault, interfering with civil rights and disorderly conduct for taking a camera from a village resident who was filming police activity. More recently, Yellow Springs probationary officer John Whittemore was terminated in July 2016 while the subject of a use of force investigation.

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“The village of Yellow Springs has made many positive steps forward since New Year’s Eve to continue to improve the relationship between the police department and citizens,” according to the village.

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An external review of the holiday incident was critical of police tactics, including the “technique of driving a motor vehicle into a crowd of people.”

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