Video of trooper punching suspect released

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Video showing a Rhode Island State Police trooper punching a man in a holding cell was released Monday.

The video of the 2014 incident was released from a federal court seal, WJAR-TV reported. The video shows Trooper Jamie Donnelly-Taylor walking suspect Lionel Monsanto into a cell at the Lincoln barracks, then throwing several punches.

The state last year settled a lawsuit filed by Monsanto for $125,000.

Donnelly-Taylor pleaded no contest to simple assault and was sentenced to perform community service. He said he was ordered to plead by the former state police superintendent, Col. Steven O’Donnell, and the video would be kept under wraps.

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O’Donnell called the trooper’s claims “ludicrous.” No party admitted fault or liability.

Donnelly-Taylor’s attorney, John Martin, said the video clearly shows Monsanto swung his elbow at the trooper first. Monsanto’s lawyer denies that.

Donnelly-Taylor is currently on injured on duty status. He sued the state attorney general for refusing to defend him in the civil suit filed by Monsanto. A judge recently found that the attorney general had the authority to refuse, given Donnelly-Taylor’s plea to assaulting Monsanto.

The new state police superintendent, Col. James Manni, said during a press conference Monday that he would’ve tried to fire Donnelly-Taylor if the incident had happened while he was in charge, The Providence Journal reported . Manni expressed regret for the assault.

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Information from: WJAR-TV, http://www.turnto10.com

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