Canton police officer who threatened to execute concealed carry licensee is trying to get his job back

by Chad D. Baus

The Canton Repository is reporting that notorious Canton Police Officer Daniel Harless, who was fired after being caught on his own police dash cam video last June verbally assaulting a concealed carry license holder and threatening to "execute" him, is trying to get his job back.

From the article:

Patrolman Daniel Harless is proceeding with the arbitration process, said Kristen Bates Aylward, an assistant city law director.

In January, Safety Director Thomas Ream fired Harless.

Bates Aylward said she was contacted Wednesday by the attorney representing Harless about arbitration. Following his firing, Harless had filed for arbitration, but the process to select a neutral third-party arbitrator had not started until now, she said.

An arbitrator would rule if the firing was proper or decide if Harless should be reinstated.

Harless is being represented by attorney Michael Piotrowski of the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio, not the Canton Police Patrolmen's Association.

The article notes the internal affairs division of the Police Department had investigated three traffic stops involving Harless, each one filmed by a cruiser dash camera. Investigators said the officer had violated rules for conduct, cooperation with the public and handling persons.

Harless was accused of violating police department rules during the June 8, 2011 traffic stop during which police cruiser video shows Harless berating and threatening a man pulled over around 1:30 a.m. on Newton Avenue NW.

In the dash cam video, the officer can be heard unleashing a profanity-laced tirade, yelling, "I should blast you in the mouth right now...I'm so close to caving in your head," and "you're just a stupid human being!" He continued to berate the license-holder, shouting, "You want me to pull mine and stick it to your head?" "People like you don't deserve to f#$%*@g move throughout public. Period!"

After the June cruiser video was posted on the Internet, it went viral. Soon, other videos turned up, revealing a long pattern of deplorable behavior.

The Repository uncovered a video from another incident, in which Harless threatened to send the suspects "to the grave" if they moved, adding, "I will shoot you in the face and I'll go to sleep tonight."

In a third dash cam video uncovered by Cleveland's ABC affiliate, Harless can be heard engaging in yet another profanity-laced tirade, saying, "If you scratch your balls wrong, I'm going to pull my gun and I am going to shoot you."

From The Repository back on Jan. 11, after Harless was terminated:

The police department's internal affairs division launched an investigation, examining Harless' behavior during the June 8th arrest and two unrelated traffic stops, each captured on a police cruiser dash camera.

In the June 8 stop, he was accused of violating the department’s rules and regulations for cooperation with the public, deportment and treatment of persons in custody. For that, he faced being suspended or fired.

Harless was placed on medical leave and other officers donated their sick days to him when his paid sick-leave time ran out.

Harless's appeal of the decision to fire him only serves to give further evidence to his sickening arrogance, and signals that he is likely angling to be put on disability.

Again, from the Jan. 11 Repository article:

Harless was placed on medical leave and other officers donated their sick days to him when his paid sick-leave time ran out.

The union had asked for an extension for the disciplinary hearing due to Harless being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

"Obviously, it's an unfortunate set of circumstances that transpired," Adams said. "We feel that due to the fact that (Harless) has PTSD, that nobody realized it for eight-plus years, for it to come to light the way it did ... this is not a way we wanted this to play out. PTSD is obviously a disease."

Adams said that the incident that sparked the disease occurred in 2003 when a suspect nearly bit off Harless' finger while trying to get the officer's gun.

Given the fact that The Repository has uncovered numerous complaints against Officer Harless dating back to 2000, it is difficult to reconcile the union president's attempts to claim the problem started in 2003, and it is even more of a stretch to claim that "nobody realized" the problems with Harless.

Adams also did not attempt to explain how Harless, who in September was deemed by the union to be so mentally "disabled" that he was unable to attend his own disciplinary hearing, and who also failed to attend a rescheduled hearing in December, was competent enough to testify at a murder trial on November 29, in which the accused was ultimately convicted.

Disgraced former police officer Daniel Harless can't have it both ways.

If he is well enough to testify in a murder trial, in which the defendant was ultimately convicted, he was certainly well enough to show up to his hearing a week later, and certainly not eligible for an appeal based on a supposed disability.

On the other hand, if Harless continues to claim that he is mentally disabled by PTSD, one wonders how long it will take for the convicted killer's attorney to file an appeal based on Harless' self-admitted incompetence and possibly get his client's conviction overturned.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.

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