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Fountain Hill officer returns to work amid concerns from the community

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Aug 21 2013 09:00:13 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 21 2013 10:26:59 PM CDT

Fountain Hill cop controversy

FOUNTAIN HILL, Pa. -

Even though the incident was caught on video and even though the officer admitted to covering it up, fired Fountain Hill police officer Grady Cunningham will be back on the job next week.

The decision has shaken the community and it has town leaders looking for other ways to keep the cop off the force.

Chief Ed Bachert tells us he spoke with Officer Grady Cunningham and the officer will be back to work on Monday.

The borough is also looking at other options to possibly remove the officer from the force.

Video shows officer Grady Cunningham choke a handcuffed suspect and throw the suspect to the ground.

Fountain Hill Mayor Jose Rosado says even after seeing the video and hearing a confession from the officer, an arbitrator gave Cunningham his job back.

“The arbitrator made a decision which was in his favor," said Rosado. " Obviously we're very disappointed by the arbitrator's ruling."

Before this June 4, 2012 video, officer Grady Cunningham ended up on the other side of the law several times.

Court records show five judgements for back rent totaling over $23,000 and he was a defendant in a million dollar civil law suit.

The borough is considering more litigation to try to take Cunningham's shield.

"That's what we are exploring at this time," added Rosado. "I don't know what those options or alternatives may be. But we are certainly going to discuss whether or not there are any viable options or alternatives to this."

Until that can happen, Grady Cunningham will report to work on Monday.

The concern, will the officer be able to protect and serve in a manner acceptable to the department?

"We have to ask the residents of Fountain Hill to trust and support us that we are going to address this and we're looking out for the best interest of the borough of Fountain Hill, and the residents of Fountain Hill," added Rosado.

"He's going to come back Monday," said Fountain Hill police chief, Ed Bachert. " We'll probably be going over some of the policies, use of force aspects, and kind of re-education on departmental policy and other areas."

69 News tried contacting the FOP and Grady Cunningham, but have not been successful.