PROVIDENCE, RI (July 14, 2020)… At the formal request of
PERA Executive Director Jose Batista, City Council President Sabina Matos (Ward
15) has called for the City Council to issue a subpoena to the Commissioner of
Public Safety Steven Paré requiring him to hand over all body camera footage in
the investigation of Sgt. Joseph Hanley to the Providence External Review
Authority (PERA). The call for a subpoena will be voted on by the full council
at Thursday’s meeting.
“Last week PERA held a meeting relative to the ongoing
investigation into the alleged assault of a Rishod Gore, who was handcuffed at
the time of the alleged assault, by Sgt. Joseph Hanley” stated Council
President Sabina Matos. “The Public Safety Commissioner refused to allow PERA access
to the body camera footage despite PERA being empowered by ordinance to oversee
these types of internal investigations. This subpoena will now require that
this footage be handed over to PERA so that they may do their due diligence as
part of their review.”
On April 19, 2020, police were dispatched to a domestic
dispute call on Knight Street that led to the arrest of Markese Davis and
Rishod Gore. Once Gore was apprehended and handcuffed, it is alleged that Sgt.
Hanley struck Mr. Gore several times. On July 8, 2020, Mayor Elorza
released a statement that the City was working with the State’s Attorney
General to charge Mr. Hanley and to terminate his employment with the City of
Providence Police Department.
Section 18 ½ - 2 (h)(2) of the Providence Code of Ordinances
establishes the procedure by which the Executive Director of the Providence
External Review Authority may petition the City Council to issue a subpoena in
order to assist in an investigation. Section 402 of the Providence Home Rule
Charters allows for the Council President and the City Council to issue
subpoenas, and in this case it allows for a subpoena for records in the
possession of the Commissioner of Public Safety related to this ongoing matter.
For more information, visit our website: council.providenceri.gov