Hey, the courts got it right this time. Canya believe it?

Charges Dismissed for Vt. Defendant Tackled, Struck by Taser in his Home


By Jennifer Hersey Cleveland

The Caledonian-Record
Monday, July 8, 2013
(Published in print: Saturday, July 6, 2013)

Newport City, Vt. — Criminal charges against a Newport man, who was tackled in his own home by police and shot twice with a stun gun, have been dismissed because the intrusion into the man’s home was without warrant or cause.

Judge Howard VanBenthuysen wrote in his order that both the U.S. and Vermont constitutions protect citizens from the intrusion of privacy that occurred in this case.

On Nov. 9, 2012, Newport City Police officer Aaron Lefebvre and Chief Seth DiSanto responded to a report that a man was swinging a bat next to Lake Road. When they arrived, no one was outside, but apparently familiar with the address, Lefebvre hollered to “Jason” to come outside.

Defendant Jason Naylor, 40, eventually acquiesced to Lefebvre’s commands and spoke with him about the bat-swinging while seated on his porch. During the conversation, Lefebvre determined that Naylor had been drinking.

When Lefebvre asked Naylor to submit to a breath test, Naylor got up and went inside.

Lefebvre responded by tackling the man in his home, and while wrestling with Lefebvre and DiSanto, Naylor was struck twice with a Taser weapon. He was charged with domestic assault (later dismissed), disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest.

He already pleaded guilty to one count of disorderly conduct, but after public defender Jill Jourdan filed the motion to suppress and dismiss, State’s Attorney Alan Franklin added another count of disorderly conduct.

The judge’s order dismisses all remaining charges.

Jourdan argued that the state couldn’t prove its case because Lefebvre had no right to enter Naylor’s home or arrest him and that the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article 11 of the Vermont Constitution protect Naylor from warrantless arrest.

The state countered, arguing that Lefebvre had the right to take Naylor into protective custody because of a civil statute allowing police to do just that when someone is incapacitated because of his alcohol use.

Franklin also argued that Lefebvre’s actions were lawful because Naylor’s resistance to being tackled and subjected to electric shock amounted to disorderly conduct committed in the presence of an officer.

Whichever justification the state picks, VanBenthuysen found that “the police actions were not justified.”

A CopVu video shows Naylor walking from his house of his own volition and speaking with Lefebvre, which contradict the state’s assertion that Naylor was incapacitated. “The police cannot initiate a physical altercation with an individual walking back into his own home and then attempt to justify the arrest by claiming the resulting resistance amounted to disorderly conduct,” VanBenthuysen wrote.

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Nice, but isn’t Vermont always an outlier for close protection of citizens rights? I know they are very liberal regarding 2nd amnd, anyway. Still, in these times, this victory–though righteous–does seem out-of-place, regardless of state.


So a police officer committed one act of home invasion and three counts of assault(two with, one without, a deadly weapon) and his victim merely not getting convicted counts as justice?


Liberal is a very hard word to apply to Vermont. There are no concealed carry laws in Vermont. Pretty much only the courts have metal detectors. Last I checked, not even the statehouse in Montpelier has metal detectors. People have guns, lots of people hunt, and some are even crazy about guns. But gun murders are very rare here. There have been two sensational murders in my area, and one was with an axe, and the other a hunting knife. If you can believe that. So, “liberal towards guns” would be a misuse of the term liberal, at least in its common usage. I don’t know what the correct one-liner description would be about guns here. Maybe just that gun murder is rare, people hunt with them, and if they’re mad they’re gonna come get you with a knife instead!

It’s the first thing you said: Vermonters, both liberals and conservatives, are fierce advocates of individual rights. Not even so much the Tea Party version of that story. It’s a very Vermont story. When civil unions were passed, there was, of course, a huge homophobic outrage with all the Take Back Vermont signs and crap in the media. But, the story has so much more texture than that, because many of the rightmost elements saw the entire issue as an individual rights to self determination issue, and got on board for people to at first legally become bound to whomever they choose, and then, later on, to marry that person, no matter whom. It was a beautiful thing to live through that time here.

Vermont isn’t some shangri-la. There are no jobs here, the cost of living is high and life is hard. Especially in winter. Plus there’s literally nothing to do. Pretty much nothing “urban” unless you’re up in Burlington. The saying is “we make our own fun.” Which is totally true. I build stone walls, mow the lawn, bbq small animals and write computer programs for fun. It’s not heaven, and I don’t idealize it. SOMETIMES, we get the police to behave. But recently, another man was tased to death in his own home in my town. And the police were found to have done nothing wrong. So, take this whole thing with a big block of salt. Vermont might be a little ahead. We are talking tortoise to box turtle, though.

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Yeah. Exactly. I was thinking civil suit. But I don’t think “people do that here.”

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yeah, i didn’t phrase that very well. I meant liberal as in they’re there in great numbers and not regulated, like “a liberal dose” or “apply lotion liberally” or something like that. definitely not in the political sense. my bad; that was really confusing of me to say, wasn’t it?

jesus christ how horrifying

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What’s more is I know the local police and they had nothing to do with it. They’re good people. It was the State Police who went into that guy’s house and killed him in front of his wife because he was acting very aggressively… didn’t even have a firearm in his hand… just was acting aggressive in his own house. So they tased him in the chest and he died of cardiac arrest. It’s sick. No, I’m not downplaying domestic violence. But I am saying the police should be a lot more careful with potential deadly force.

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