CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - An officer with the Charlottesville Police Department is guilty of assault and battery, but will not spend any time behind bars.
Friday, Judge Theresa Carter ruled Jeffrey Jaeger used excessive and unreasonable force during an arrest of Andre Henderson on March 3, 2020. Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Joe Platania prosecuted the case and Attorney Mike Hallahan represented Jaeger.
Judge Carter says body camera footage was a large factor in the guilty verdict.
Back in March, Jaeger and two other officers responded to a verbal argument on Prospect Avenue. In the video, Jaeger can be heard saying he was detaining Henderson for disorderly conduct, but he was ultimately arrested for a warrant out of another jurisdiction.
The video footage revealed that Jaegar first initiated contact by grabbing Henderson, who was standing still during the encounter with his hands by his sides. Jaeger ran several feet with Henderson’s hands clutched in his grasp before shoving Henderson’s head into a fenced enclosure, causing a small laceration on his forehead along with some swelling.
In a release, Platania said “[T]hose we entrust with a badge and charge with keeping our community safe must reflect the best of us. Unfortunately, that standard was not met in this instance. Our community and our criminal justice system rely on the integrity of police officers and we must hold accountable those who abuse their positions of power and trust. But the acts of one should also not reflect on the ethical and professional conduct of the rest of the committed public servants in the Charlottesville Police Department.”
Jaeger’s 12-month sentence was suspended, and he will serve two years of unsupervised probation. Jaeger has appealed his conviction to Charlottesville Circuit Court.
According to the Charlottesville Police Department, Jaeger is currently on administrative leave without pay at this time.