Massachusetts State Police Colonel Richard D. McKeon releases the following statement regarding the May 11, 2016 pursuit and arrest of suspect Richard Simone:
The actions taken by a trooper from our department and other officers involved in yesterday’s apprehension of suspect RICHARD SIMONE in Nashua, N.H. – as those actions appear in news footage of the arrest – are, upon initial review, disturbing.
Early this morning I directed my senior commanders to open an Internal Affairs investigation into the actions of our personnel who were present at the arrest, which followed a lengthy motor vehicle pursuit.
The goal of that internal investigation is to determine whether relevant policies, procedures, rules and regulations of our department – including those governing the use of force – were followed by our personnel. If that investigation determines that departmental violations occurred, we will take appropriate and commensurate disciplinary action.
We have identified the trooper involved in the arrest, and this afternoon we relieved him of duty pending an internal hearing scheduled for tomorrow. That hearing will determine whether the department places him on a modified duty status for the duration of the investigation. His duty status hearing can result in several outcomes, up to and including suspension. As the trooper is the subject of an internal personnel investigation, we are not releasing his name at this time.
Additionally, we will also review the motor vehicle pursuit itself to determine whether our pursuit policy was followed. The department has a rigorous pursuit policy, and this internal review is standard procedure after every motor vehicle chase in which we are involved.
Our internal investigation and the pursuit review will include an examination of video footage, audio transmissions, reports, and witness statements.
It should be noted that our internal investigation into conduct during the apprehension and our review of the pursuit are separate from the investigation that the New Hampshire Attorney General will conduct into potential criminal acts committed during the arrest.
My office has notified the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office that we will provide whatever information they request to assist in that investigation. We will monitor the attorney general’s investigation and will review whatever evidence it uncovers as part of our Internal Affairs investigation.
The Massachusetts State Police expect and demand all department members to act at all times with integrity, honor, and adherence to the law. If it is determined that a department member has not lived up to those expectations, we will take appropriate action. I also ask the public to recognize that the alleged actions of any one member do not reflect on the rest of the department, the vast majority of whom conduct themselves with honor and courage, and who routinely risk their own safety to protect the public they serve.