Hassan: AG's full investigation into video of police punching suspect 'really important'
CONCORD – Gov. Maggie Hassan calls video of officers repeatedly punching the suspect in an hour-long police chase that started in Massachusetts and ended in Nashua “concerning to see.”
In a news conference Thursday morning with reporters, Hassan said that “it’s really important that the Attorney General investigate it fully.”
But she said that the footage should “not be used to disparage the very many brave men and women of New Hampshire’s law enforcement and public safety community.”
The pursuit began soon after 4 p.m. Wednesday, according to Massachusetts authorities, when the police in Holden, Mass. tried to stop a pickup truck driven by Richard Simone of Worcester. The suspect is a 50-year old man the Massachusetts State Police said was the subject of warrants for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, larceny, and failure to stop for officers.
The chase continued into New Hampshire, through Nashua, Hudson and ended back in Nashua. After the pickup truck crashed, video shot from an overhead helicopter showed at least two officers punching the driver repeatedly after he exited his vehicle.
Hassan said “the footage that I first saw yesterday evening is very concerning and something that we have to take absolutely seriously.”
“The footage was very concerning and I share concern that everybody has when they watch that footage but what is also really important is that a thorough, complete, criminal investigation take place,” she added.
Hassan urged that “it’s really important that the attorney general investigate it fully. The evidence will take the attorney general and the entire investigatory team where this investigation needs to go. And certainly we have to make sure that it is thoroughly and fairly investigated and any actions that are confirmed that are dealt with.”
“We need an independent and through and full investigation here. New Hampshire law enforcement is held to the highest standards and the vast majority of them work each and every day not only to protect and defend all of us but also to live up to those high standards,” Hassan added.
But Hassan noted that “what is also very important is that not be used to disparage the very many brave men and women of New Hampshire’s law enforcement and public safety community who work each and every day to the highest standards to protect and serve the people of New Hampshire. They put their lives on the line for us.”