Utica Police Officer suspended and under investigation after using “unauthorized physical force”

Up to the Minute

UTICA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Utica Police Chief Mark Williams and Mayor Robert Palmieri held a press conference Thursday morning to address an incident that happened last Friday that involved an officer using “unauthorized physical force”.

On Friday, September 4, Utica Police responded to a 911 call involving a domestic incident in which a man, Kerwin Taylor, was allegedly threatening a female with a firearm.

Body-worn camera footage shows Taylor running from police and resisting arrest. Police confiscated an illegal firearm and were eventually able to take Taylor into custody. According to a press release, once in custody body-camera footage shows Officer Matthew Felitto “engaging in unauthorized physical force which UPD does not tolerate nor condone”. Officer Felitto was seen kicking the Taylor in the head. Footage also shows another officer intervening and yelling for Felitto to stop, which ended the inappropriate conduct.

Taylor was treated at the hospital for neck pain and released into police custody where he was charged with multiple firearm related felonies.

Mayor Palmieri and Chief Williams announced during the conference they are seeking termination and possible legal action against Officer Felitto. The incident is currently under an internal administrative investigation and has been referred to the Oneida County District Attorney’s office for possible criminal charges against the officer.

Officer Felitto is currently suspended without pay.

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