Sgt. Shawn Glans a New York sheriff’s deputy has been suspended after a video was posted that showed him verbally abusing, and apparently slapping a young man after the man refused to let Glans search his vehicle. The car had a rifle in the backseat, which is not unlawful and, when the man refuses, Glans is heard threatening that he could “rip your … head off.”
The video below shows Glans insisting that “We’ll get a (expletive) search warrant” and demanding “Let me see your (expletive) keys.” When the man asks why he wants the keys, Glans says “Because we’re searching your (expletive) car, that’s why.” After the slap is heard, Glans is heard saying “You want to (expletive) resist?”
A friend videotaped the encounter. The friend, shown in the incident, tells Glans that what just happened was “intense” and asks the officer if he’s going strike him next. The sheriff’s sergeant responds that he could “rip your (expletive) head off and piss down your neck.” He then says “You like that, huh? I can get a lot more intense.”
In this case, Glans is shown cursing the man and insisting he has a right to search the vehicle. Glans insists that the men were acting suspiciously, a common justification for police stops. Glans said that he considered it suspicious that they were wearing dark clothing and otherwise acting in a suspicious undefined way.
Glans, 48, who has been a police officer for 27 years.
Glans later made an extraordinary admission while he insisted that the video is misleading:
“It doesn’t look good, . . . I’m all about doing the right thing. I had to go to that point because of the factors that came into play. There was a gun that was involved (that) I spotted in the vehicle. . . . I was concerned. It was a public safety issue. If I had to do it all over again … I’d probably do the same thing. If I knew the camera was there, no, because it does look bad.”
The fact that he appears to have slapped a citizen and threatened another does not appear to factor into the equation. However, the camera does.
Once again, absent the video, it is doubtful that anything would have happened in a case of rivaling accounts between an officer and a citizen. We have been following the continuing abuse of citizens who are detained or arrested for filming police in public. (For prior columns, click here and here). There have been consistent rulings upholding the right of citizens to film police in public. These videos continue to disclose misconduct of officers, including recent stories here and here and here and here.
Glans, a former Marine, has previously been at the center of a major lawsuit. In 1999, the town of Wilton and Saratoga County paid $6 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the family of a 45-year-old man who was left paralyzed when Glans slammed his patrol car into the man’s vehicle. A jury found Glans negligent in his response to a 911 call. He drove a cruiser at three times the posted speed limit and crossing the line into incoming traffic.
He has now been suspended without pay.
Source: Times Union