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New Bedford Police Officer Charged With Possession And Distribution Of Child Pornography Is Also The Subject Of 2012 Wrongful Death Suit After Pepper Spraying A Man And Leaving Him Face-Down In Handcuffs For Over 10 Minutes

Officer Hodson, currently placed on administrative leave after being charged with one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography, was the subject of internal investigation in 2011, when a man died while under apprehension by the Officer.

Paul Hodson, 42, of Acushnet, was arrested last Wednesday and charged in U.S. District Court with child pornography offenses, according to federal prosecutors.

And as we previously reported, he has been posting inflammatory things about New Bedford residents for years.

Mostly notably, however, is this March 25, 2011 post that reads, “Time to go to work and violate some civil rights”. 

 

 

This brief post takes on a shocking context when viewed in consideration of a March 2011 police review of the an early morning incident on July 22, 2010 that resulted in the untimely death of 42-year old resident city Erik Aguilar. Given the timing of the post, it appears to be Mr. Hodson’s response to the review, filed March 16, 2011, in which the reviewer called the incident “an embarrassing disgrace to the New Bedford Police Department and a case of absolute negligence on the part of the…police officers on the scene.”

The review goes on to detail how, during the early morning hours of July 22, 2010, a convenience store employee called the police seeking help for Mr. Aguilar, who was behaving erratically and asking for help. New Bedford police officer Paul Hodson arrived at the store, spoke with Mr. Aguilar, then tried to handcuff him. Officer Hodson then took Mr. Aguilar to the ground, sprayed him with pepper spray, handcuffed him with his hands behind his back, left him lying face down on the pavement, and applied pressure to his back. Mr. Aguilar struggled to breathe because he was face down with his hands cuffed behind him. Officer Hodson and other New Bedford police officers casually stood around as Mr. Aguilar was lying face down until his heart stopped beating. The police did not call for medical care until they learned Mr. Aguilar had no pulse. Only then did the police officers sit him up. Even then, they did not start CPR until over four minutes after learning he had no pulse.

 

The security camera footage can be viewed below.

 

Although an independent internal review found claims of negligence on the part of Officer Hodson “sustained”,

Despite these findings, Officer Hodson was never criminally charged. He was permitted to remain on the force, and remains through today, as he has been placed on paid administrative leave as a result of the charges, according to a statement from the New Bedford Police Department.

The full investigation report can be read here. 

A civil suit alleging wrongful death was filed on behalf of Erick Aguilar’s estate in 2012. The full complaint can be read here.

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