Body cam shows Shelburne police officer shoving a juvenile with his arm after being spat at
Newly released videos from an incident nearly a year ago show a Shelburne police officer shoving a juvenile with his arm after being spat at.
The encounter recorded on Jan. 23, 2022, led three entities to investigate officer Cpl. Jon Marcoux — with disparate outcomes.
State police did not find probable cause to charge Marcoux with simple assault, but Chittenden County’s top prosecutor saw it differently.
“Our review found that he did use excessive force,” State’s Attorney Sarah George said in August. George asked state police to issue a citation to the Shelburne officer, but it declined.
The incident involved Marcoux, in the pursuit of a stolen vehicle, using some form of physical restraint against the juvenile driver.
The videos, released last week in response to a VTDigger public records request, shed new light on the interaction between Marcoux, who has worked for the department since 2017, and the juvenile accused of taking her parent’s car without permission.
But almost a year after the incident, little else has changed. In recent interviews, George said she maintains her stance — and so do the state police.
“As I have stated before, based on my review of the evidence, there is probable cause to charge Officer Marcoux with simple assault. However, Vermont State Police disagree and have stated they will not issue a citation for the same,” George said Monday.
“I would like to pursue charges but need the help of VSP to do that in an efficient and consistent manner,” she said.
State police investigated last year but were “unable to establish the legal standard that probable cause existed to support a criminal charge,” spokesperson Adam Silverman said last August.
The agency has nothing new to add to its previous statement, Silverman said Monday.
“State’s attorney’s offices in Vermont have various ways to pursue and file criminal charges if they wish to take on a particular case,” he reiterated.
According to heavily redacted documents released to VTDigger last year, the episode first came to George’s attention on Feb. 8, 2022, when Shelburne Police Chief Michael Thomas forwarded the department’s administrative review of the use-of-force incident to George with a note asking her to “please review for potential criminal charges.”
George wrote back a day later to say she would request state police conduct a criminal investigation “about whether a citation is appropriate.”
George issued a Giglio letter, also known as a Brady letter, on Aug. 18 that shows the state’s attorney concluded the officer used excessive force and should be charged with simple assault. She said she does not currently have the resources to convene a grand jury on this case.
“It’s important to know that Vermont state courts don’t use grand juries, so if we want to convene one we have to use the federal grand jury. It is incredibly time-consuming and resource-intense and I do not currently have either,” she said.
Marcoux was placed on administrative leave after the encounter and returned to work last month, according to the Shelburne News.