Mass. police officer suspended after being seen on video slapping patient in stretcher

Worcester police officials announced this week that they have completed their investigation into the video posted on Facebook in July

Scott J. Croteau and Michael Bonner

WORCESTER, Mass. — A Worcester police officer who was shown in a video slapping a man in a stretcher in July has been suspended after an internal investigation was completed, sources told MassLive.

The officer, identified through sources as Ryan Joyal, joined the department in 2017. Sources told MassLive the officer was given a 5-day suspension, which was handed down this week.

The officer was never placed on paid leave during the investigation.

A video posted on Facebook in July showed a man in a stretcher in the 700-800 block of Main Street in Worcester. Police had been called to the scene for a mental health issue. An ambulance and police arrived at the scene sometime after 4 p.m.

The video showed the man in a stretcher and an officer strike him. Police officials said the man was spitting at the officers.


WorcesterPD cmon bro 😂

Posted by John A Smith on Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Shortly after the video was released, Worcester police announced an internal investigation would be conducted.

“Today, I was made aware of a video that appears to show a Worcester Police officer using force after a man was spitting at officers,” Worcester Police Chief Steven Sargent said in a statement issued in July. “The incident has been referred to the Bureau of Professional Standards for investigation. We hold our officers to the highest standard and are fully committed to investigating every complaint, regardless of its source.”

The man who captured the video told MassLive he was driving in the area when he spotted what was happening. The man said he made the video public on Facebook to show what had happened.

Some residents then messaged city councilors and officials.

Councilor Khrystian E. King told MassLive in July that he received multiple text messages about the video and he notified City Manager Edward Augustus Jr.’s office.

“I brought it to the attention of the appropriate parties, and I am interested to see what the official report will be,” King told MassLive at the time.


(c)2021, Springfield, Mass.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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