On February 4, 2019 at approximately 2000 hours, Officer Andrew Mamone was riding together with Officer J. Sites as a two-man unit when they observed a black 2008 Honda Civic, bearing Florida tag KBCK40, traveling east on Greenbelt Boulevard. The vehicle pulled to the south side of Greenbelt Boulevard, turned off its headlights and continued to travel eastbound. After the vehicle came to a stop on the side of the street the officers drove past the vehicle. The officers observed that the vehicle was occupied by two black males who were not wearing their seatbelts. Officer Sites turned his marked patrol vehicle around and conducted a traffic stop with the front bumper of their marked patrol vehicle facing the front bumper of the suspect vehicle.
Officer Mamone contacted the driver, Tarik Green, and Officer Sites contacted the passenger, Daquan Grant. Green and Grant were asked to exit the vehicle because the driver stated he had cannabis in the vehicle. Officer Sites had previously contacted Green on another occasion and Green was very cooperative. Daquan Grant had originally provided the name Carey Grant and told the officers that he had been arrested before. Grant’s behavior became increasingly nervous and Officer Sites stated that he could see Grant visibly shaking and acting suspiciously. Grant was placed in handcuffs due to his behavior. Officer Mamone exhausted several different avenues to obtain Grants’ identity. When Officer Mamone determined Grant’s identity he relayed the information to Officers Sites and Madison. A short time later, Grant ran from the stop while still in handcuffs. Officers Mamone and Madison chased Green on foot until Grant fell to the ground.
After running from Officers Mamone and Madison, Grant was able to reposition his handcuffs from the rear of his body to the front of his body. Grant attempted to get back up when Officer Mamone discharged his taser and the officers were able to gain control of him. Officers Mamone and Madison instructed Grant to get up off the ground and escorted him to the place of the original traffic stop.
On their return, Officers Mamone and Madison instructed Grant to get on the ground and reposition his handcuffs from the front of his body to the rear, threatening to pepper spray Grant if he did not comply, despite Grant’s protests that he was physically unable to comply. Officer Mamone is then seen on body camera forcing Grant’s legs back through his handcuffs and subsequently walking him to a patrol vehicle while stating “Wow, it’s a miracle your legs work and everything.”
An Internal Affairs investigation determined that Officer Mamone’s actions were unreasonable.
There were no exigent circumstances or conditions that required immediate action. The subject was much smaller in size, stature and weight than all three officers on scene. The suspect never became violent or threatened violence. Taser probes were still attached to the suspect and could have been cycled if needed; the officers had access to communications to request additional officers and to equipment to secure the suspect’s feet to eliminate an attempt to flee. Moreover, there were no crowd issues.
It was recommended that Officers Andrew Mamone and Jeffery Madison be sustained for a violation of “Treatment of Prisoners.” Officer Mamone was suspended without pay for 24 hours. Officer Mamone grieved his suspension, and his grievances were rejected. Ultimately, his suspension case came before Arbitrator Stuart Goldstein. Despite the capitalized “A,” an arbitrator is whomever the arbitration participants choose. There are no standardized minimum qualifications, and an arbitrator does not have to be an attorney. Arbitrators often come to the table with substantial industry experience. This is seen by some as benefiting labor, who would likely characterize it as being fair.
The arbitration of Officer Mamone’s 24-hour suspension took seven days, the proceedings alone took nearly 24 hours. There were approximately 1,500 pages of exhibits filed, and several body-worn camera videos.
Although some news media outlets are thorough in their reporting on police officer discipline, by and large they tend to drop the ball when it comes to reporting the final disposition of discipline cases.
While Mamone’s case received minimal publicity, it was reported by at least one media outlet. What was never reported – anywhere – however, is the reality that all discipline imposed against Officer Andrew Mamone was overturned:
“The City did not prove by a preponderance of the evidence that Officer Mamone’s conduct either (1) threatening to use a chemical spray on Mr. Grant if he did not move his hands from his front to his back or (2) physically moving Mr. Grant’s hands from his front to his back was “inhumane” and consequently did not prove that Officer Mamone violated RM 800-2c. For all of the reasons set forth above, Officer Mamone’s grievance is GRANTED. The City shall make him whole in all respects.”