MONTICELLO, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A video recording shows the mayor of the Sullivan County municipality of Monticello in a heated confrontation after being arrested by his own police officers.
As CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported Sunday, Monticello Mayor Gordon Jenkins was arrested on Nov. 16, on suspicion of drunken driving.
He was taken into custody after showing up to take a look at a serious car accident on Main Street. A volunteer firefighter noticed the mayor looked drunk, according to police, and notified law enforcement. Jenkins was arrested on the spot.
In a video recorded at his own police headquarters, a man identified as Jenkins was shown seated in a chair with one hand handcuffed to a wall. During the first minute of the video, he is heard apparently talking to himself, using a variety of obscene insults to describe the officers.
Soon afterward, an officer comes in to interview him.
“You know something, Davis?” he says to the officer in the video. “I’m the one that hired you in this job, man. I mean, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter about that. But you know something? How the f**k you guys going to play the game?”
When the officer later addresses him as “sir,” Jenkins replies: “Don’t call me sir.”
“Mayor? Is that better?” the officer says.
“Don’t call me mayor,” Jenkins replies. “Call me n****r, because that’s what I am when I’m right here in handcuffs. But you know something? I don’t give a f**k.”
Altogether, hours of video were released, showing Jenkins not happy about his arrest.
“What are you going to do? Put me in jail five years? I’ll get out in five years, and I going to f***ing tell you what the f**k you did to me, and I’m going to come back to you,” he tells an officer later.
The mayor was charged with DWI, refusing a Breathalyzer, obstruction of justice and criminal mischief.
The final charge came following an incident seen about an hour and 22 minutes into the first of three video clips. Jenkins stands up, pulls a clock off the wall, and hurls it out the door of the interrogation room while demanding to know who is at the police station desk.
“Why did you break the clock?” an officer says.
“Because I called you and you didn’t answer, and you f***ed… these cuffs are too tight,” Jenkins replies. When the officer returns to the room, Jenkins accuses the officer of trying to “humiliate” him.
The mayor’s DWI arrest was just the latest episode in a history of hostility between the mayor and the local police force, according to the mayor’s attorney.
“People in Monticello who form his base have suffered indignities at the hands of the same police officers, and they understand what he was saying,” attorney Michael Sussman said.
Monticello Village Trustee Carmen Rue filed the request to release the videos of the mayor in custody. She has called on him to leave his post.
“He needs help. He really needs help,” Rue said. “He needs to step down for the good of the community.”
Sussman did not dispute the fact that his client uses profane language in the video, but he did challenge the DWI charge.
“He doesn’t sound drunk to me,” Sussman said. “He sounds very coherent to me, even if very angry.”
The head of the local Policemen’s Benevolent Association said handcuffing the mayor to the wall for most of the night was not unusual treatment.
“The way he was acting, how intoxicated he was — he was treated the way everybody else was treated,” said Monticello PBA President John Riegler.
Meanwhile, residents of Monticello had serious questions Sunday about the mayor’s latest alleged conduct.
“It’s not a good example for a person in that position to be setting for the public,” one person said.
“He’s not fit for being mayor,” another said. “What mayor would do something like what he does?”
Jenkins pleaded guilty three years ago for selling knock-off sneakers at his local store. He was arrested again last year for allegedly hitting a police officer.
Jenkins also raised eyebrows earlier this year when he appointed his longtime girlfriend to the village Board of Trustees.
Jenkins pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. As for the mayor’s future, it will likely come up at the next Monticello Village Trustees’ meeting on Dec. 6.
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