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Bruises: Police brutality or false accusations? - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Bruises: Police brutality or false accusations?

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Allegations of police brutality in Burlington have the chief firing back. A South Burlington woman took to social media to launch serious accusations against two cops following her arrest Thursday.

Almost immediately after Logan Huysman, 18, was released from police custody for disorderly conduct, she posted four pictures on Facebook of her bruised arms. The post read "police brutality in Vermont is REAL. Just because you have a badge does not mean you have to right to put your hands on me."

"They were aggressive enough to leave bruises on my arm like that and marks. The handcuffs were actually so tight, I couldn't feel my wrists. I don't think that's OK at all," Huysman said.

Burlington's police chief is firing back with a strongly worded statement he posted to Huysman's Facebook page. According to Chief Brandon del Pozo, Sgt. Nguyen and Ofc. Lippa spotted three women unconscious in a running car outside a Pine Street convenience store Thursday night. Concerned the women were impaired or dying from a drug overdose, they intervened. It took them four minutes to wake up Huysman. The officers found pot, a bong and alcohol in the car. They gave Huysman a notice for diversion, and that's when they say she got violent: ripped up the notice, made a gun gesture with her hands, told police to shoot her, mule-kicked one of the officers in the groin and head, and threw broken bottles at them.

"That guy says I kicked him in the groin. That's a lie. I did not," Huysman said. "He's the one who put his hands on me because I went to grab the bong that I have just bought that day."

The chief says his officers never hit Huysman or used their weapons. He says her anemia may explain the bruising.

"I understand where they are coming from. The part that really when I went off was every single time I would stand up to move or move around because I was anxious because there were cops trying to search this car when I didn't think there was any reason to. I was kept wanting to move around and every single time I did, they would come at me like I was about to do something," Huysman said. "So it was annoying me and so I was like come at me, do something. And I don't know, maybe I shouldn't have done that."

Chief del Pozo told WCAX News by phone that he's confident his officers acted appropriately.

We also received a statement from Chittenden County Prosecutor Sarah George, who tells us after reviewing the officer's body cameras she's "confident in saying that Sergeant Nguyen and Officer Lippa responded to this situation with the utmost respect and professionalism. They were incredibly patient and demonstrated great restraint in dealing with Ms. Huysman."

We are still waiting to see that police footage.

Saturday, David Clements, the president of the Burlington Police Officers' Association, released this statement:

"In response to the false claim of Police brutality reported on June 23 it is the position of the Burlington Police Officers Association that this claim was without merit.  The BPOA fully supports the officers who were involved in this incident who were attempting to provide aid to unresponsive parties.  The interview of Ms. Huysman provided by WCAX clearly illustrated in her own version of events, a person who was not following police instructions and was more concerned with her "bong" then anything else.  The officers on scene not only showed restraint beyond what was necessary, they in fact encountered assaultive, actively resistant, taunting behavior of which created a very dangerous environment for them to be in.  Fortunately none of the involved officers were seriously injured during this event.  It's unfortunate that the growing anti sentiment towards law enforcement in this country has now filtered into Burlington where a story with no facts of misconduct somehow becomes news worthy instead of focusing on the inexcusable assault on two Law Enforcement Officers that were attempting to check on the welfare of its citizens."

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