NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The New Orleans Police Department announced Thursday that a 25-year NOPD veteran has been fired for unauthorized use of force on a 16-year-old girl. Officer Terrance Saulny's termination was announced by Chief Michael Harrison following an investigation by the Public Integrity Bureau's Force Investigation Team.
Police say that the incident occurred on September 23, 2014 at the NOPD Juvenile Bureau, where Saulny was recently assigned. Saulny was involved in a use of force incident involving the 16-year-old, who was being processed in intake. Afterwards, Saulny reported the incident to his supervisor who immediately reviewed the incident and surveillance video. The supervisor then got in touch with the the PIB who launched its own investigation the next day.
After reviewing the surveillance footage, the PIB FIT put Saulny on emergency suspension without pay pending the investigation's outcome. The Independent Police Monitor, the Federal Consent Decree Monitor and the Department of Justice were notified of the investigation by the NOPD.
The PIB confirmed Saulny's violation using the surveillance video and video from a body-worn camera. According to police, Saulny denied using foul language during the incident, but investigators learned that he did.
During a disciplinary hearing held Thursday, Saulny and his attorney were given the opportunity to present any mitigating circumstance, justification or explanation. Following the investigation, the NOPD determined that Saulny broke two department rules:
· Rule 2: Moral Conduct; Paragraph 6: Unauthorized Force
· Rule 2: Moral Conduct; Paragraph 4: Truthfulness
"There is no place in the department for officers who choose to mistreat members of the public and lie about their behavior," said Harrison. "Based on the results of the PIB investigation, we made the decision to dismiss the officer immediately."
The IPM, who monitored the investigation and the disciplinary hearing, support the NOPD's decision.