Boris Tsang / Sun Photo Editor

Shortly after beginning to drive, Slattery started to discuss a prior interaction with Monk, after fellow officers called for assistance to a dispute with Monk.

December 4, 2020

IPD Suspends Investigator After Body Camera Footage Reveals Inappropriate Comments

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The Ithaca Police Department suspended investigator Kevin Slattery on Dec. 3 after he turned in body camera footage of himself joking about aggressively subduing a suspect and planting evidence.

Currently, Slattery is suspended with pay as IPD conducts an internal investigation. The investigation may conclude with further suspension, without pay.

“Since the comments regard two areas of critical importance — force and integrity — I immediately ordered a thorough investigation and placed the involved member on suspension from duty,” IPD Chief Dennis Nayor said in a joint statement with Mayor Svante Myrick ’09. 

Within the statement, Myrick promised to share the results of the investigation to the public, hoping to complete it “sometime this month.”

The footage, taken on Oct. 30, begins with two officers collecting Jovon Monk’s DNA with two swabs. Monk is currently on trial for sex offense allegations, and, in the body camera footage, is wearing an orange prison uniform.

Monk’s attorney, Kevin Kelly, did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication. 

In the footage of the DNA collection, the two officers and Monk appear to be calm. Monk and the officers converse briefly, in response to Monk’s probing about the security of the DNA samples. The officers confirmed with Monk that his DNA samples would be secure.

After the DNA collection, the officers left the building and entered their car, turning on music. The body camera is blocked for most of the footage, but the audio recording is mostly clear.

Shortly after beginning to drive, Slattery started to discuss a prior interaction with Monk, after fellow officers called for assistance to a dispute with Monk. In the recording, Slattery did not specify the nature of the dispute.

“I fucked him up one night, years ago,” Slattery said. When Slattery arrived at the house where other officers were stationed, Slattery had access to a “long gun” in the corner of the room, he said in the footage. “I ran fucking pinned him up against the wall and he was fighting with me so I fucking suplexed him to the ground,” Slattery said, refering to a wrestling tactic used to put someone onto their back.

The other officer in the car with Slattery was silent for most of the nearly 10 minute recording.

“Then I’m on top of him and he’s still not giving up so I’m giving knee strikes I fucking knee struck him in the neck, I struck him fucking in the fucking gut,” Slattery said, adding that eventually Monk surrendered and another officer handcuffed him.

Slattery said that Monk continued to resist arrest, adding “I grabbed one foot and he grabbed the other and we fucking bounced him all the way down the stairs.”

Slattery then joked about planting Monk’s DNA as false evidence. “No we ain’t sealing this man! We got some places to put this first!” he said of the DNA sample. “Sealing it? No we gotta put this on the evidence first.”

Tompkins County District Attorney Matthew Van Houten is not handling any potential investigation into Slattery because “it is within [IPD’s] department and under investigation at the moment”, his office said to The Sun.

Slattery has since apologized for the incident, calling the remarks “inappropriate jokes” and maintaining that they are not accurate reflections of how he dealt with this subject.

“I am keenly aware that this comes at an already-strained moment in IPD’s relationship with the public,” Myrick said. “I continue to believe that IPD as an organization is one of the most professional police departments in the state. But there is clearly room for improvement, and we will continue the hard work of building and maintaining a culture of respect and professionalism throughout the department.”