Troy police officer fired


By Sam Wildow

[email protected]

TROY — Troy Police Officer Eric Kilbourne was recently fired from the Troy Police Department in connection with an incident where a handcuffed suspect was injured while in his custody, according to documents released Wednesday.

On April 26, the administration at the Troy Police Department became aware of an incident that occurred at approximately 4 a.m. April 25 in which a handcuffed subject in custody for domestic violence and violation of a protection order was injured in the sally port of the Troy Police Department.

Due to concerns about the incident, the city opened an internal investigation, requested an outside agency to complete a criminal investigation, and placed the officer on administrative leave.

According to the incident report, officers including Kilbourne, were responding to a domestic dispute at the Hampton Inn in Troy at approximately 3:40 a.m. on April 25. The suspect was taken into custody and transported to the Troy Police Department. When Kilbourne opened the cruiser door, the suspect exited the cruiser “in an aggressive manner” toward Kilbourne and equipment fell on the suspect when Kilbourne took control of the suspect. Kilbourne then stood up, picked up the fallen equipment, and called for Troy EMS to respond to the sally port.

After that, “Kilbourne returned to control (the suspect’s) upper body with his body weight near (the suspect’s) back.” The suspect “was screaming and yelling during this time,” according to the incident report.

Captain Jeff Kunkleman completed an internal investigation report covering the incident. The internal investigation report states the suspect “initiates abusive and inappropriate language while exiting the Hampton Inn lot.” Kilbourne attempts to answer the suspect’s questions, but Kilbourne reportedly “becomes somewhat argumentative during the final minute or two of the transport and after arrival on station.” Kilbourne “attempts no de-escalation techniques is somewhat humiliating” to the suspect. The suspect is described as “highly agitated” after he believes Kilbourne called him an inappropriate name, which footage shows Kilbourne did not.

The internal investigation report included more information regarding the incident after the equipment falls in the sally port, including descriptions of video footage that described Kilbourne as having his hand on the suspect’s neck at one point, “pushing his head down on the concrete.”

“Kilbourne’s hand is partially cupped around the back of (the suspect’s) neck and (the suspect’s) head is being held down against the floor,” the report states. Kilbourne keeps his hand on the suspect’s neck for approximately two minutes “before moving his left hand down on the subject’s upper back and putting his knee on (the suspect’s) right arm.”

From another camera angle with audio capabilities, the report notes that when the suspect made comments about “his face being pushed in the floor,” Kilbourne tells him, “shut up, woman beater” and Kilbourne adds “different when it’s a man isn’t it.” Kilbourne also “tells him he doesn’t have any rights now because he is in custody.”

Kilbourne is later seen positioning his left knee on the suspect’s right arm and the suspect “is screaming, apparently in pain, saying ‘oh my God’ and mentioning about his arm.” Kilbourne removed his knee after approximately eight seconds. Kilbourne reportedly tells the suspect, “Now you know how your old lady felt, right, when you were beating on her.”

Kilbourne later reportedly takes his hand off the suspect’s upper back and puts it on his neck, “forcing his head down to almost between his knees.” Kilbourne also has a leg against his back and another patrol officer has a hand on the suspect’s left shoulder. The suspect states the officers are hurting him. Kilbourne moves his hand after approximately 35 seconds, and the other officer removes his hand.

In the internal investigations report, Kilbourne tells a supervisor, ”I felt that his actions were threatening, and I had no other place to put him … because of all the equipment that was there.”

When asked what the purpose of his statements to the suspect was during that incident, Kilbourne said, “I just got agitated.”

The internal investigations report also notes that “none of the use of force or events after the suspect is taken to the ground and the equipment falls on him” is documented in the officers’ incident report.

In the conclusion of the internal investigation, it states the suspect was “handcuffed and clearly controlled” prior to being taken to the ground and Kilbourne’s subsequent actions. The internal investigation states it “finds no necessity or reason for that use of force. It does not appear that the injury to (the suspect’s) lip or ear could have been caused by the screen falling due to the position of (the suspect’s) head when watched frame by frame.”

Two other officers were questioned in connection with this incident.

At the completion of the internal investigation in late May, the city placed Kilbourne on unpaid leave, and on June 1, the city terminated Kilbourne’s employment for violations of police and city policy.

“This is something that no one wants to do,” Chief of Police Shawn McKinney of the Troy Police Department said in regard to the firing of Kilbourne, but he added they felt it was the appropriate action.

Director of Public Service and Safety Patrick Titterington at the city of Troy noted in a termination letter to Kilbourne that Kilbourne’s action in this incident violated a number of policies with the city of Troy — including wanton or willful neglect in performance, fighting, knowingly or intentionally giving false or misleading information — as well as policies with the Troy Police Department in regard to ethics and use of force.

“You also have past discipline which shows a pattern of similar misconduct and further supports termination,” Titterington wrote. The report regarding Kilbourne includes a letter of reprimand from 2008, a use of force report in 2021, and a use of force report in 2017.

McKinney said the case has been handed over to prosecutors for consideration of possible criminal charges.

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