A New Mexico State police officer already on paid administrative leave over mental competency issues was arrested Thursday after attacking a man who was trying to repossess his car, placing the man in a chokehold that lasted nearly nine minutes until police officers arrived and threatened to tase him.
But Charles Vernier claimed the repo man had assaulted him first, so he was only acting the way he knew how, which according to the video recorded by the repo man’s wife, was not much different than a deranged thug who was just begging to be shot in the head.
In fact, a video from the responding officer’s body cam shows Vernier tried to run away after failing to convince the cop to handcuff the repo man, only to trip over his own feet and fall flat on his face, which was when he was arrested.
It was not until later that they discovered he was a police officer, which makes one wonder how it would have turned out had he pulled out a badge from the beginning.
But maybe he didn’t have one considering he was already on leave while “being investigated by New Mexico State Police to determine if he was mentally competent to be an officer,” according to KRQE.
That, of course, is something they should have determined prior to hiring him, but we already know New Mexico has very lax standards for police officers.
Despite a felony charge of aggravated battery, he believes he is still qualified to be a police officer, even granting an on-camera interview to KOAT, where he gave the usual sociopathic spin of facts we’ve come to expect from cops.
“After they hooked up my vehicle, I wanted to get some things out. I opened the vehicle and started to go inside, (but) Mr. Martinez shoved me back,” said Vernier. “I just reacted the way that I’ve been trained over 13 years of Law Enforcement. I put him in a lateral vascular neck restraint, which is not a choke hold. It only applies pressure to the sides of the neck, not the airway.”
Vernier said he was the one who called 911 asking for help.
“In the heat of the moment, I just reacted the way that I’m used to reacting,” he said.
NMSP Chief Pete Kassetas released the following statement about Vernier’s arrest:
“I’m aware of Officer Charles Vernier’s arrest yesterday by the Los Lunas Police Department for aggravated battery and resisting arrest. At the time of this incident Officer Vernier was on leave for an unrelated reason I am not at liberty to disclose. An internal inquiry will be launched into this new incident immediately. As Chief I take my officer’s conduct on and off duty seriously and I will not tolerate this type of behavior.”
Vernier hopes to return to NMSP. He’s on leave because of medical reasons.