Crime

State’s Attorney Sarah George seeks assault charge against cop for response to spitting suspect

About 18 seconds into this video, a suspected juvenile car thief appears to spit on Shelburne Police Officer Jonathan Marcoux. He then forcibly puts his arm on her neck and jaw. SPD video, posted on Shelburnenews.com.

by Guy Page

The Shelburne Police Department has released footage of an incident for which State’s Attorney Sarah George wants assault charges brought against a police officer.

The video release is the latest action in a year-long dispute between George and Vermont law enforcement over her allegation of police violence in the case.

On January 23, 2022, Corporal Jonathan Marcoux arrested a young woman for allegedly operating her mother’s car without permission. Video shows the young woman was spitting at Marcoux as he placed her, handcuffed, into the back of the cruiser. Spitting on a police officer is considered assault under Vermont law. After the second visible spitting incident, Marcoux’s arm can be seen placed forcibly on the suspect’s neck and jaw.

“That’s what we call an assault on a police officer,” Marcoux can be heard telling the suspect. “You’re going to be charged with that as well.”

Shelburne Police released four separate videos of SPD cruiser and body cam footage. In all of the footage, Marcoux speaks calmly and professionally to the suspect, and there are no other apparent incidents of possible excessive force. The suspect continues spitting, apparent profanity, and profane gestures even when handcuffed.

State’s Attorney Sarah George, however, looked at the footage and concluded “there was probable cause to believe Corporal Marcoux committed simple assault,” she said in an August 18 “Giglio” a/k/a “Brady” letter of official reprimand. She noted she had asked the Vermont State Police to cite Marcoux for simple assault.

The State Police declined.

Giglio letters such as published by George have grown increasingly common. While state’s attorneys consider them essential to drawing attention to police violence, some police and their supporters see overuse of the letters as anti-police weaponization.

The ACLU-VT offers the following supportive explanation for the use of Giglio/Brady letters:

By way of background, the 1963 U.S. Supreme Court case Brady v. Maryland and the line of cases that followed it established that when police officers commit acts that undermine their credibility – including bias, lying, and theft – prosecutors are obligated to disclose that information to defense counsel.

To ensure they are satisfying these constitutional mandates, prosecutors’ offices across the nation have created “Brady lists” – lists of police officers whose credibility issues would likely undermine their testimony at trial. Brady lists are widely recognized as a best practice for protecting the integrity of the justice system.

In Vermont, there is currently no statewide policy governing Brady disclosures or statewide Brady list, and only one county prosecutor’s office (Chittenden County) maintains its own list. Instead, the general practice among state’s attorneys is to send Brady letters to their county’s criminal defense attorneys, noting that a particular police officer might have credibility issues. In some cases, where prosecutors believe an officer’s credibility issues will taint future cases, they may also send letters to the officer’s police department, noting that the officer’s cases will no longer be accepted for prosecution. At times, such a letter could be cause for termination.   

Categories: Crime

43 replies »

  1. This is BS, VT is so unfair when it comes to law enforcement and changing the laws for these lawless people, who think (and can) get away with everything, but the police take the fall for it all. Imagine your reaction being spit on all the time, sworn at, knowing you have to protect these POS

  2. Sarah George is a tool of the left. We know that. The problem is, Chittenden Co. is solidly wacky woke, and they keep electing her. The state of Vermont needs a law which makes out of state donations to state politicians illegal. This would at least keep some dirty money out of politics. Yes, I mean ALL out of state money. From Bloomberg’s to the NRA’s, to George Soros. (JMO)

    • One problem is that there was no republican running against Sarah George. Mr. Kinney ran against her in the primary but lost. Perhaps he should have done like other politicians and then run as an independent in the general election. How she gets re-elected is beyond me.

      Sarah George doesn’t want to push prosecutions against people who have questionable sanity issues, so the Attorney General had to step in (at the request of Gov. Scott) in three murder cases, and then the prosecution was successful. I bet that Gov Scott is having second or third thoughts about having picked her as the prosecutor.

      As to this incident, there was no assault by the police! Using the reasonable amount of force to overcome resistance or an assault (like spitting) does not constitute an assault. She would probably call handcuffing a suspect and removing him from a crime scene a kidnapping since it would be against the defendant’s will. Now Sarah issues a “Brady” letter when it is only based on her own personal findings. Sounds like a lawsuit could be in order for defamation of character. except that she is probably immune from that.

      • I doubt Scott is having second thoughts as I have called the governor’s office multiple times about escalating violence against seniors and conservatives in this state. Offenses include everything from spitting on people to attacking seniors for displaying an American flag on their car to providing false claims to the media for reporting purposes.

        The governor could care less, none of the issues were worthy of public comment. He made it clear that Vermont is the type of state that doesn’t protect seniors and definitely not conservatives from being harrassed and attacked by woke minors and adults.

  3. The imbeciles in Chittenden county voted for this avowed marxist george. This is how the decline in Venezuela started by undermining our Law Enforcement system

  4. That is because Sarah is a communist who wants to demoralize our police while letting criminals off. Sadly, she will keep getting elected with the mail in system that allows Soro’s to rig our elections.

    The cop acted completely professional considering this stupid girl spit in his face and assaulted him.

  5. Giglio letters and concocted, assault prosecution of honorable police officers are the tools George has to work with to instill her agenda. I have to assume it agrees with the majority of residents that returned her to office. Fine by me. I haven’t visited Burlington in recent years and will go out of my way to avoid being there. I fly out of MHT. Buy vehicles elsewhere. And would rather go hungry than visit a downtown restaurant. The place can go to hell for all I care. Maybe having the majority of woke imbeciles in one place is a good thing?

  6. Perhaps charges should be brought against Sara George !!

    You name the charge? danger to public, failure to prosecute violent
    repeat criminals.

    Cost of empty cells in the ctowbar hotel

    Twarting Judicial options by not bringing charges

  7. Sarah George is an idiot. That officer did what was appropriate to prevent that female from doing it again. Get a job George!

  8. Todays generation has lost it way. Respect is a thing of the past. Bottom line is if you are going to spit in someones’s face (especially the law) expect a responce. In my honest opinion and I’m no law-enforcement lover, the officer used only the amount of force necessary to mitigate the incident.

  9. She’s an idiot he didn’t do anything wrong, he didn’t assault her or bash her face in. Stop pandering to the criminals, they wonder why we have a shortage of police in Vermont. Look at Burlington.

  10. If I was a cop in Burlington I would quit due to no longer being unable to do my job. I no longer visit Burlington for pleasure due to feeling unsafe there. A shame that the formerly very nice town is going downhill and the cops are not allowed to do their job.

  11. …so, if you can’t get rid of law enforcement by defunding them, make them quit by twisting circumstances and demoralizing them… putting their names unjustly on a Brady List. I get your strategy.

  12. If this wasn’t so sad it would be funny. Soros …oops, I mean Sarah George, Chittenden County’s chief social worker…oops, I mean chief prosecutor wants to file simple assault charges for THAT!!!??? If only the cop had just put some street clothes he could have gone down to Church St, Burlington and done far worse on surveillance camera and George would have shrugged her shoulders or maybe she would have commented on how disadvantaged he was and that’s why he acted out. In the age of the Covid plandemic spitting in someone’s face is absolutely simple assault. If that girl’s mommy or daddy had placed a few well directed swats on her padded posterior when she was a toddler she would have learned a little respect by now and most likely wouldn’t find herself being buckled into the backseat of a police cruiser. Sheesh

  13. Vermont voters have a unique capacity for voting for the very worst public officials. To wit, Sarah George.

  14. “About 18 seconds into this video, a suspected juvenile car thief appears to spit on Shelburne Police Officer Jonathan Marcoux” for the second time. The first time was at 9 seconds into the video. The suspect seems to be intentionally attempting to spread Corona Virus to state employees, Ms. George…

  15. Why would anyone want to be a police officer in Chittenden Count? They should all quit. They could easily find positions in friendlier locals.

    I agree with a couple of the other commenters in that I haven’t been to Burlington in years and will probably never go again until things change there.

  16. It is a federal offense to spit on anyone. The left has really embraced spitting on people over the last two years. What do these leftists think will happen when you spit on a police officer.

      • You are uninformed. I was at an event and people were violated by a teenager who was spitting on them. I spoke directly to the police, and they confirmed that this was a federal offense and the teenager could be charged accordingly.

  17. The person that was arrested AND the attorney General both need to be in jail and banished forever from Vermont. We need to remove all the cockroaches that came here in the ’80’s and beyond in order to make Vermont great again and no longer let college students vote here but in their home states. I no longer recognize what was once an icon of independence.

  18. The person that was arrested AND the attorney General both need to be in jail and banished forever from Vermont. We need to remove all the cockroaches that came here in the ’80’s and beyond in order to make Vermont great again and no longer let college students vote here but in their home states. I no longer recognize what was once an icon of independence.

  19. What do I think? Use common sense: restrain, arrest, charge with assault, prosecute, convict, and arrange a nice long stay in prison….that’s what I think.

  20. I didn’t see any excessive force by the police officer. Never raised his voice to someone who continued to spit and use profanity. Why are charges being initiated?

  21. Law enforcement should make it a matter of protocol to put “spit hoods” on anyone being handcuffed. Covid is still active and LE should protect themselves. This officer had every right to put his shoulder between the woman and his face. He did his job admirably. I cannot say that under the circumstances I would have shown such restraint – especially if I’m going to get in trouble no matter what I do. (Probably why I’m not a police officer. ) Normally, you would wonder about someone who doesn’t think getting spit on is a big deal, but Ms. George is so obvious in her contempt that there is no need. Isn’t there some way to remove officials that fail to do their jobs and endanger the citizens of Vermont? There should be.

  22. The spitter committed an assault against a police officer — same as the law 40 years ago. When I practiced as a special public defender in Connecticut, a prisoner in Manchester Superior Court spit in the face of one Lee Hotchkiss. Lee was a 27-year veteran as a beat cop in Hartford — not a guy you spit at. He reflexively punched the guy in the jaw — broken jaw. No charges against Lee — the Court, and anyone who knew him, deeply liked and respected him. He was fair and kind, but not to be messed with. He and I were friends, as I saw him routinely in court there (where he worked for 15 years). He was a champion power lifter as well. He was a GOOD COP — known and respected on the street by all members of the community. Looking him up, I see he has passed away: https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/hartfordcourant/name/earl-hotchkiss-obituary?id=16640784
    We need more good cops, fewer bad prosecutors. Sarah George works for the wrong side, and abuses her position. SHE should be arrested as an accomplice to assault, and spend time with her fans in prison. Let’s support our police, before no one wants the thankless job.

    • I really thought the officer went easy on the “spitter”. I feel like had I done that to any of my friends or my family or parents I’d probably end up with something bruised or broken.

      Lord knows we get angry, but actions need to have consequences, and in this world (especially in this state) we have spent about 20 years without consequences for people’s actions and we’re starting to see the outcome of inaction.

  23. The State law: 13 V.S.A. § 1028 No person shall intentionally cause blood, vomitus, excrement, mucus, saliva, semen, or urine to come in contact with a protected professional while the person is performing a lawful duty.

    If I am not mistaken, spit aka saliva, is a bodily fluid and potentially deadly. According to the State, the public was forced to wear masks because our saliva could spread disease and kill someone. Sarah George is not following State law. If she is turning it around on the police officer, she must be removed from her post immediately. She clearly does not understand the deadly weapon used against the police officer.

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