Officer cleared of wrongdoing in Tolman High takedown

Tolman high school altercation_219041

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — Pawtucket and Rhode Island State Police have completed their joint investigation into a school resource officer caught on camera taking down a student at Tolman High School in October.

According to city police, the probe found Officer Jared Boudreault acted reasonably and in keeping with his training during the incident, which led to two teenagers being arrested.

Police said Boudreault has been exonerated of any wrongdoing and no charges will be filed against him.

Video of the incident on Oct.14 led to large protests and further arrests at the school, and also raised questions statewide about the use of school resource officers.

Police said they reviewed all footage of the incident and contacted more than two dozen individuals as part of their investigation. As a result, they said they found Boudreault was assaulted prior to what was captured on video.

Investigators said they also contacted the legal counsel of the two juveniles involved, but the counsel declined to release a statement.

Eyewitness News spoke with Tony Pires, Pawtucket’s Director of Public Safety, about the incident.

“I think what happened, as I read the report and a lot of time was spent by the investigators in questioning people who were on the scene and what occurred prior to the video starting and what that report concludes, is that there were actions involved by the students in this case,” he said.

“And that the actions that the officer took were consistent with the policies and the training that he had with regard to use of force.”

In a statement to Eyewitness News, Pawtucket Police Chief Paul King said, “Officer Boudreault, a 13-year veteran of the department, relied on his years of training and experience when he responded with the amount of force that this unfortunate situation called for.”

Mayor Don Grebien was pleased with the outcome of the investigation, saying:

“Pawtucket as a community will now move forward to ensure that every young person in Pawtucket is able to learn in a safe school environment.”

The superintendent of Pawtucket schools, Patti DiCenso, released a statement Tuesday evening, saying:

“I am pleased that the Rhode Island State Police and the Pawtucket Police Department have completed their investigation, and I trust in the results.  The Pawtucket School Department now needs to move beyond this incident and work with the Pawtucket Police Department in the new year to ensure the safety of our staff, students, and the community.”

Pires said that if Boudreault decides he wants to return to school, officials will have conversations about the incident with students.

“If he chooses to go back to the school and that’s what we determine is in everybody’s best interests, we’ll have conversations with the students and so will he, at some point in time,” he said. “I think in the end we’ll come up with a resolution to this that is acceptable to everybody.”

During the investigation, Officer Boudreault took a temporary assignment on patrol. He will meet with Pires in the coming days to determine how he wants to move forward now that the investigation is complete.Annie Shalvey contributed to this report. 

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