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Officer Krawetz found guilty

January 23, 2012

PROVIDENCE — Seconds after a Superior Court judge found Lincoln police officer Edward M. Krawetz guilty of felony battery with a dangerous weapon — in this case, his shod foot — the defendant's wife, Lori, wiped away tears.
Several other family members just looked around in disbelief after Justice Edward C. Clifton announced his decision at about 12:10 p.m., Monday.
Krawetz had been on trial for kicking a seated, handcuffed woman in the head after police arrested her for disorderly conduct at Twin River the evening of May 31, 2009. Surveillance videos showed Donna Levesque, 44, of Uxbridge had been intoxicated and belligerent toward police and security officers after being taken into custody.
While on the stand, the accused, who was suspended without pay from the Lincoln Police Department, stated he at first reacted to Levesque's sweeping kick toward his knee with a block, then claimed he kicked her in self-defense.
Clifton called for a pre-sentencing report to be conducted and the findings be brought before him by Monday, March 5. He scheduled Krawetz' sentencing date for Monday, March 19.
A pre-sentencing report consists of an investigator administering an extensive background check on Krawetz.
It will include the interviewing of friends, colleagues and others as to his character. That information then will be presented to the judge prior to sentencing.
Krawetz had waived his right to a jury trial, instead choosing a judge to hear evidence from the prosecution, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Regine, and his defense lawyer, John Harwood.
After the ruling, Harwood maintained he couldn't anticipate the severity of the sentence, and wanted to speak immediately with his client.
“I've got to look at the judge's decision in detail, digest it, then take it one step at a time,” he said as he organized his papers inside Courtroom No. 7.
Later, while addressing television reporters outside the courthouse, Harwood stated Krawetz was “obviously disappointed” with the decision, and that Harwood himself respectfully disagreed with the ruling.
“This is a tough day for all police officers,” Harwood said. “Officers make split-second decisions, and (the judge's guilty verdict) puts unreasonable burden on police officers in this state … The penalties are ranging, and I'm going to look at (U.S.) Supreme Court benchmarks” with hope that Clifton will offer a less severe sentence.
When asked if the surveillance tape played a key role in the verdict, Harwood said “Video can help you in some ways or hurt you in some ways. It showed she assaulted him. He was attacked by Miss Levesque, and he responded to it in less than a half-second … We believe we presented a defense with a strong basis in law, as in the case of Graham v. Connor. The judge obviously didn't think so.”
During his lengthy soliloquy regarding the trial, Clifton described his feelings about the testimonies issued by casino Security Capt. Joseph Gleckman; Patrolman Russell Enos (who was with Krawetz at the casino that night); Rhode Island State Police Sgt. Daniel Cusumano, the prosecution's expert witness on police use of force; Dr. Frank Gallo, the defense's such expert; and Krawetz himself.
Clifton explained he found Gallo's testimony “inconsistent,” due to the fact he didn't utilize Krawetz' initial incident report on May 31, 2009 but instead the modified version he wrote the following day, as well as other assessments of the kick.
Clifton also revealed he paid particular attention to Enos' testimony, as he seemed to be a reasonable officer at the scene, “and had no concern for his own safety … that (Levesque's) legs weren't shackled.”
Later Monday afternoon, Lincoln Town Administrator T. Joseph Almond sent a statement to media that the town would implement Krawetz' termination.
“The incident resulting in the criminal conviction of Officer Edward Krawetz was inexcusable, and violates the stringent professional standards by which all officers of the Lincoln Police Department are held,” he wrote. “The town … is satisfied that justice was served in a criminal conviction in this matter.
“The (LPD) is proud of those officers (who) provided honorable and essential testimony leading to the successful prosecution of this matter,” he added. “(If) this criminal conviction is appealed, Officer Krawetz will remain on unpaid suspension, and the town will continue to seek his termination.
“I remain confident that the excellent reputation of the dedicated, honest and hard-working men and women of the (LPD) will overcome this unfortunate incident.”

Comments

Police Officer

March 23, 2012 by Chad (not verified), 2 years 3 weeks ago
Comment: 1025

First of all ,the Police Officer had a chip on his shoulder. He thinks he is better then anyone. When he kicked her he didn't even care if anyone seen him. It's like she was a dog.He was found quilty and you know nothing will happen to him , Sure he will lose his job , big deal. slap on the wrist...

I agree with the judge...

February 15, 2012 by John556 (not verified), 2 years 8 weeks ago
Comment: 882

I can't believe that people think this reaction is "OK".
Sure the woman swung her unshod leg at the cop while handcuffed, but instead of shackling her he decides to kick her in the head with shoes on!?!? And you people are ok with that!?!?

Looks like a thugs reaction instead of a professional, this guy needs to have his certificate revoked.
Like they say, there's always barber school.

???

February 15, 2012 by Marcel (not verified), 2 years 8 weeks ago
Comment: 886

In another comment, you think jailing a drug pusher is wrong. Now I see you advocating possible jail time for a police officer who's a little heavy handed. BTW: he is losing his job.....

What about the drunk lady? What if she had kicked out at you while you walked by in the bar? Would you have called the police? If so, why? She's just out having fun and maybe a little high on a contolled substance. That's OK in your book.

Drunk peoiple in public, drug abusers, sellers and those who do it while driving are not a good mix for others out there having a good time or driving legally on our roads.

I disagree with this judge

January 25, 2012 by Marcel (not verified), 2 years 11 weeks ago
Comment: 849

People who are drunk, combative and beligerent should be handcuffed but also schackled so they cannot kick. It would protect them and anybody dealing with them.
This conviction is a joke.

Reply to comment Officer Krawetz found guilty January 23, 2012

January 25, 2012 by Morningglory (not verified), 2 years 11 weeks ago
Comment: 848

I was just wondering when will her trial be. I would think she will have a lot more charges brought against her for what she did that night. But haven't read anything about that.

Krawetz , Found Guilty ,But Is There Justice Yet ?

January 24, 2012 by Jeffo46 (not verified), 2 years 12 weeks ago
Comment: 844

It was pretty obvious that Krawetz was going to be found guilty, after all, the camera doesn't lie . But,the one thing that does raise a concern is what is he going to get for a sentence come March 19th. If he only gets probation, you can bet that heads are going to roll . No, this man is a disgrace to the uniform and considering that this was the not the 1st time he was in trouble, he should be given prison time. That is the only way that justice will truly be served .

Prison time??

January 26, 2012 by Marcel (not verified), 2 years 11 weeks ago
Comment: 851

For a knee jerk reaction to being kicked and then giving him prison time? I think lost of job is substantial enough as this is going to happen.

When you consider Gov Chafee protecting a cold blooded killer (Mr Pleau) from federal prosecution so the killer can enjoy some kind of protected life at camp ACI, prison for anybody kicking at another who just kicked them is a little harsh, no?

Like another making a comment, I wonder what kind of penalty the drunk lady will be getting for first being drunk and disorderly and then kicking at a police officer. You suggest prison time for her as well?

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