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By Scotty Reid,
The Mayor and Police Chief of Rutland, Vermont are not happy that a jury decided this past Friday that Jennifer Berube was not guilty of attempting to murder a Rutland City Police officer with a knife.
Berube and her husband were arrested in December 2012 for possessing a stolen credit card and Berube was being booked at the Rutland Police Station when video surveillance captured her walking up behind Officer Damon Nguyen and allegedly put a two-inch knife to his neck in what she said was an escape attempt. Berube said it was never her intention to kill the officer but to scare him.
In the wake of the not guilty verdict, The Rutland Police Chief and Mayor of course were not pleased with the outcome considering the video evidence.
“The video was pretty clear. The evidence was pretty clear. But depending on where you sit it’s possible to have different perspectives,” said Police Chief James Baker.
“It’s a verdict that’s disappointing to other members of the department as well, but I’m extremely proud of everyone involved in the case and in those officers who were there all week to support Officer Nguyen.”
Mayor Christopher Louras shared the chief’s frustration with the jury decision.
“I’m shocked and dismayed, quite frankly, not just by the verdict but by the disappointment I feel on behalf of members of the police department,” Louras said. “I’m not convinced justice was served in this case.” said Mayor Louras.
I can think of a number of cases over the years where there was video evidence of law enforcement officers committing crimes against unarmed people but juries allowing the cops to walk free but none more so than the video evidence of Eric Garner being put in a choke hold and then rendered no first aid as he lay dying on a New York City sidewalk.
It took the Rutland jury less than two hours to deliver “not guilty” verdicts on “attempted second-degree murder” and the lesser offense of “attempted aggravated assault with serious bodily injury” in Jennifer Berube trial.
Apparently, Berube was never charged with attempting to escape custody which she admitted to trying to do. Berube is said to be working on getting her life together after losing everything due to her addiction to pain killers which she testified about during the trial.