Binghamton Council hears demands for action following violent police arrest
Dozens of people showed up to address Binghamton City Council Wednesday, spending over two hours demanding justice for Hamail Waddell and other actions to address policing in Binghamton.
Waddell was arrested in the early morning hours on New Year's Day in downtown Binghamton charged with resisting arrest and obstruction of justice. During the arrest, officer Brad Kacynski was filmed kneeling on Waddell's neck.
"The very least we each deserve in this life is humanity," Waddell's sister, Ahmoni said to the City Council. "My brother deserves at least that and that's exactly what he was deprived of that night."
Binghamton Mayor Jared Kraham said an investigation is ongoing. Kacynski, the officer, has been on administrative duties.
Members of City Council have mixed reactions on the way the police department and mayor’s office have handled the situation.
City Council President Phil Strawn said the mayor called him and all members of the Council after the arrest.
"We just know that the process is moving forward. I don't know all the things, but I think there's rules with the union and other things that have to be followed and we're trying to follow, I'm just trying to follow corporate counsel and the people's legal direction as to what we need to do."
Strawn said he would like more details about the situation and thinks Council may be more proactive in requesting more information from the city administration.
Other Council members, like Aviva Friedman, are upset with the city’s response, specifically the decision to allow Kacynski to continue working with pay.
"The city administration has egregiously fallen short of what is necessary in this situation. There is no other profession where someone can conduct in that way and be put on desk duty, still get paid."
Two Council members left during the meeting, causing it to be cut short with no actions taken.
Kacynski has been on administrative duties. Binghamton Mayor Jared Kraham said an investigation is ongoing.
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