A Binghamton police officer should face discipline and potentially termination for kneeling on a handcuffed individual who was lying face-down on a sidewalk, state Attorney General Letitia James’ Law Enforcement Misconduct Investigative Office said in a report released on Friday following what it says was an extensive investigation.

The report on a use of force incident concluded officer Brad Kaczynski used excessive force on the individual while responding to an incident while in uniform but off-duty during the early morning hours of New Year's Day 2023. It also stated other officers who witnessed the arrest did not intervene; the individual was not properly secured while being taken to the police station; and that the initial stages of the department's internal investigation into the incident "did not follow best practices for impartial investigations."

The report cites a review of body-worn camera footage, civilian videos and interviews. In addition to action against Kaczynski, recommends the Binghamton Police Department (BPD) train all staff on use of force and duty to intervene, and update the agency’s internal affairs policies and procedures.

"Following a thorough review of the evidence, LEMIO concluded that Officer Kaczynski used excessive force against the arrested person when he knelt on the person’s upper back and neck while he was prone and handcuffed, in violation of BPD’s use of force policy, the New York state model use of force policy, and the New York and U.S. Constitutions," James' office said in a press release. "By failing to search the arrested person before placing him in the police van and not securing him in place with a seatbelt, LEMIO concluded that the officers did not follow BPD’s standard arrest procedures."

But in a statement issued Friday afternoon, Binghamton Mayor Jared Kraham said he believes the report fails to accurately portray the full circumstances of the incident.

"In the coming days, we will be reviewing this report and all surrounding information and intend to conduct a thoughtful, comprehensive, and thorough evaluation of the report," Kraham said.

He added that "in the interest of full transparency," the city will release footage from the investigation.

“Public safety is of the utmost importance to the City, and the City has cooperated fully with this investigation," Kraham said. "I am proud the Binghamton Police Department is an accredited law enforcement agency by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), unlike other police agencies in the state."

Kaczynski was working as a security guard that New Year's morning at Dillinger’s Bar in Binghamton, wearing his BPD uniform and body-worn camera (BWC) and carrying his service weapon, according to the AG's office. He and other officers tried to break up several fights that erupted as the bar closed at 3 a.m.

During one incident at around 3:19 a.m., Kaczynski and another officer brought an individual to the ground, handcuffed him with his hands behind his back and knelt with his right knee and shin on the person's upper back and neck area for over a minute, according to the AG's office.

"The person repeatedly shouted that he couldn’t breathe, but Officer Kaczynski did not remove his knee. Multiple bystanders at the scene spoke with the other BPD officers who were present and asked them to stop Officer Kaczynski, saying, 'the knee is on the neck,' and 'he’s already in handcuffs, he’s not doing anything.' The officers did not intervene."

The man was evaluated at the police station and taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, and issued an appearance ticket.