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Residents sound off over Fountain Hill cop controversy

By Rosa Duarte, Reporter, RDuarte@wfmz.com
Published On: Aug 22 2013 09:02:48 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 23 2013 06:08:18 AM CDT

Residents sound off over Fountain Hill cop controversy

Residents in one Lehigh County borough are sounding off over the news a fired police officer will soon be back on the job -- and not all support that decision.

His name and face are well recognized through the streets of Fountain Hill.

And it's not all due to this surveillance video in which Officer Grady Cunningham is seen choking a handcuffed suspect and throwing him to the ground.

Massiel Larancuente says she remembers Cunningham clearly.

"He's the one who gives lots of tickets," Larancuente said with a laugh.

" I know he has a really bad attitude, like grumpy. If you don't like you're job no one told you to be a cop," she added.

Meanwhile others say it's his reinstatement they have a problem with.

"I've dealt with him before. I haven't had a problem with him but they're setting an example for the kids and I don't think he should have his job back honestly," said resident Maria Davis.

But some do agree with the arbitrator's decision and say Cunningham does deserve a second chance.

In the arbitrator's opinion, Cunningham can keep his job on some of the following conditions:

Before returning to work he shall undergo retraining and procedures concerning the use of force.

As well as, at no expense to the borough, he shall undergo a program of anger management and other appropriate counseling.

However some residents believe any re-training won't make a difference.

"You're already taught how to deal with the community before you get put on the streets, I don't believe you should go through training again, you should already know," said resident William Crespo.

The arbitrator adds if there are any more documented instances of excessive force, Cunningham shall be terminated without further recourse.