Haines: Need for Violence Against Pletnikoff by KPD Unnecessary

Jay Barrett/KMXT

In mid September three Kodiak Police officers were called to a neighborhood near the high school for what they listed as “suspicious circumstances” in the police blotter. Though they also listed the incident as “all OK,” the three still unidentified officers are accused of using excessive force against Nick Pletnikoff, a young man with autism. He was handcuffed, pepper sprayed and left bloodied and bruised. 

The Kodiak Police Department and Kodiak City Hall have been tight-lipped about the incident, refusing even to let citizens know if the three accused officers are still on the street. 

Kodiak City Councilman Terry Haines, a commercial fisherman who stepped down from office because of work commitments, will attend his last meeting next week. He said the council’s role in an incident like this is clear:

“Nobody on the council can jump the city manager. That would be completely improper for us to try and maneuver in front of the city manager or try to in any way try to influence her on a personal level without it going through the public process,” Haines said. “So everyone on the city council I think is doing the right thing in simply letting the city manager do her job.”

He said, however, that he shares the same concerns other citizens do about the treatment of Pletnikoff.

“We all know Nick, and it just seems impossible, I think, for most of us to imagine a scenario in which it was necessary to use violence. It just seems very, very… it seems strange,” Haines said. “And I think I share your concerns that we would like to know more. We’d like to see the video if there is such a video. I think we would like to be privy to the process as much as we can.”

Haines expressed confidence that City Manager Aimee Kniaziowski was doing a proper job and that the public will someday learn the facts surounding the incident.

KMXT had requested police audio and video footage from the incident, but was turned down by the city’s Anchorage attorney, citing an investigation into the assault and privacy issues.

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