A former New Hampshire state trooper caught on video beating a man who led officers on a two-state car chase was given a deferred jail sentence Thursday after pleading guilty to three simple assault charges, and the victim's family says it's not enough.
Then-trooper Andrew Monaco was arrested in July on charges stemming from his use of force in the arrest of Richard Simone Jr. on May 11, following a 50-mile pursuit from Holden, Massachusetts, to Nashua, New Hampshire. Video captured by a TV news helicopter shows Simone stepping out of his pickup truck, kneeling and placing his hands on the ground as officers assault him.
Assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell said Monaco punched and kneed Simone 12 times in 20 seconds. But Morrell said a deferred and suspended 12-month sentence was appropriate given Monaco's instant remorse and willingness to take responsibility.
A statement from Simone's family released late Thursday reads, "With this plea, the Attorney General not only fails to accomplish justice, but fails to grasp why the actions of Troopers Monaco and Flynn sparked immediate and universal condemnation."
It adds, "Trooper Monaco betrayed the public's trust, live on network television, when he beat Richie. And, by failing to hold him accountable for his actions, the Attorney General betrays that same trust again."
Monaco told a supervisor at the scene he knew his actions were wrong; he resigned from the police force a few days after his arrest. As part of his sentence, the 32-year-old Monaco agreed to perform community service, receive anger management counseling and never work in law enforcement again.
Joseph Flynn, 32, of the Massachusetts State Police, also faces charges in the case. A pre-trial conference is set for October.
Monaco was a state trooper for four years. In a brief statement Thursday, he apologized to his fellow officers and the public, but not to Simone. He said he could not explain why he behaved in a way he had always promised himself he would not.