Montgomery police chief criticized following body cam video allegedly showing excessive force

A town in Orange County is facing criticism after officials hired a police chief who is at the center of excessive force allegations.

News 12 Staff

Nov 19, 2021, 3:28 AM

Updated 979 days ago

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A town in Orange County is facing criticism after officials hired a police chief who is at the center of excessive force allegations.
The police body cam video, released Monday, shows then-Montgomery Police Sgt. John Hank taking down a suspect in the snow on Christmas night during a DWI arrest in 2016.
It was leaked just before the town promoted the 20-year department veteran to chief. Hank says the encounter shows the unpopular reality of policing.
The video is one of three incidents involving Hank in recent years that News 12 has reported on.
Last month, an attorney told News 12 he witnessed Hank racially profile his Muslim friend and use excessive force.
Hank denies that happened but critics, like NAACP Rockland President Wilbur Aldridge, say the allegations and tactics are a concern in a post-George Floyd world.
The town says the video is being used as a teaching tool for new recruits.
A representative for an oversight group in town raised these concerns before Hank was promoted and agreed to talk with News 12, but then changed their mind out of fear of retaliation.
They said in a statement, "It was made abundantly clear the supervisor and town board have no interest in the safety of people of color in this community."
Montgomery town officials strongly disagree. Montgomery Town Supervisor Brian Maher says rather than subscribe to cancel culture and 'cancel' John Hank, the board voted to give him a chance and will do everything it can to improve the department and relationship with the community.


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