[City of Mount Vernon]
The Westchester County District Attorney’s office finally arrested MVPD Officer Ryan Hughes for using excessive force on a black woman while in custody.
Unknown Black woman in photo was slammed in wall by Mount Vernon Police Officer Ryan Hughes.
June 11, 2020, after several months the Westchester County District Attorney’s office finally arrested MVPD Officer Ryan Hughes for using excessive force on a Black woman while in custody.
The DA’s office charged Officer Hughes with reckless endangerment in the second degree and he was released on a desk appearance ticket, subject to court on June 25. When the Police Department reviewed the body cam footage on January 6, 2020, Officer Hughes was suspended without pay on January 8 and remains suspended.
For months Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard and Commissioner Glenn Scott have been calling on the DA’s office to act on police brutality & misconduct cases and to charge & arrest bad cops who act out. The use of excessive force on a citizen of Mount Vernon will not be tolerated. These actions further sow distrust within the Mount Vernon police department, which under the new leadership of Police Commissioner Glenn Scott, has focused on community-policing and best practices to combat crime.
With the outbreak of civil unrest, following the killing of George Floyd, the City of Mount Vernon has remained steadfast in its commitment to better police/community relations and eliminating bad cops within the department, as well as, celebrating officers who serve with honor every day.
Recently, the City of Mount Vernon signed on to the Obama Foundation pledge to create a report on use of force tactics and present it to the community within 90 days. Mayor Patterson-Howard has been outspoken over the past few months about the need for police accountability and hosted a #WeCantBreathe rally on the steps of City Hall which combined community voices to look for community solutions.
Mayor Patterson Howard said, “We are very disheartened that this action took so long. The videotape is clear, and we hope that real resources will be put behind this prosecution. We have no problem turning over police brutality & misconduct cases to the State AG’s office, or to any federal investigative authority, or doing any of the investigations in house that we need to do. We will actively root out bad police officers. We need the DA’s office to actively prosecute any officers who don’t represent our community. Bad cops must go.”
Police Commissioner Glenn Scott provided a summary of the events “The original incident happened during the previous administration in August of 2019.
As my department was reviewing body cam footage on 01/06/2020, this horrific incident of prisoner abuse was discovered.
A Black slightly built female prisoner handcuffed behind her back.
By 01/08/2020, Hughes was suspended without pay and the case was at the Westchester County DA’s office for prosecution.
On 02/20/20, ADA Sculco referred the case back to Mt. Vernon’s ADA, stating they couldn’t find the victim and even with the tapes, the case would be dropped.
On 03/25/20, my IAB investigators found out that the DA’s office had made no attempt to locate the victim and had just asked her defense attorney to try and get contact with her.
On 03/26/20, my IAB team had located the victim at her home and had a full signed statement. I believe the process was completed in an hour.
On 04/10/2020, the case was turned back over to Westchester County ADA Sculco for the second time.”
Commissioner Scott said, “I was taken aback that the DA’s office would make a press release and show the tapes, as once again they had originally failed to serve the citizens of Mt. Vernon.”
UPDATE: The Black Star News asked the City of Mount Vernon’s Department of Communications why this Black woman was arrested. A Mr. Daniel Terry replied they did not “have immediate information on her arrest.” We also asked why it took so long for the release of this footage and were referred to the DA. We have since sent a query about these questions to District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr.