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Who is John Grismore? Fired Vermont deputy who kicked handcuffed prisoner wins sheriff's race

John Grismore, 49, of Fairfax, won race to become Franklin County sheriff, surpassing the two write-in candidates
John Grismore was fired after a video showed him assaulting a shackled prisoner (Screenshot/Northwest Access TV)
John Grismore was fired after a video showed him assaulting a shackled prisoner (Screenshot/Northwest Access TV)

Warning: Content may be graphic, reader discretion is advised.

SAINT ALBANS, VERMONT: A former Vermont sheriff's deputy who was fired after being charged with assault for kicking a handcuffed prisoner has won the race for sheriff of the county where he previously worked. In the election for Franklin County sheriff on Tuesday, Nov 15, John Grismore, 49, of Fairfax was defeated by the two candidates who filed written petitions.

According to the Vermont Secretary of State's office, Grismore was the only candidate on the ballot after winning both Republican and Democratic primaries on August 9. However, when video emerged the day after the primary showing Grismore kicking a prisoner on Aug 7, he was initially suspended and then fired.


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The write-in campaign of Sheriff's department Lt Mark Lauer, a 27-year Vermont State Police veteran who has been at the department for over a decade, was then backed by the county's Republican and Democratic parties. 

Current Sheriff Roger Langevin referred to Grismore's acts as "egregious" in August and claimed to have been informed by deputies. He forwarded the matter to the state attorney's office in Franklin County, which asked the state police to investigate.

Grismore, who denied guilt to a charge of simple assault last month, expressed confidence in his ability to get an acquittal on Monday, November 14.

Grismore expressed his gratitude that "voters'  were afforded an opportunity to understand the facts and circumstances," on Monday, November 14. He claims that the video and the details of his suspension, which he described as a personnel problem, were "leaked" out of context. Additionally, he has insisted that he just used the bare minimum of force required to stop the prisoner from spitting on him and the other deputies, as per reported by News 4 Jax. “I think a lot of people could see that this sure felt like a political ploy to undermine a campaign,” he said in a phone interview. 

However, Lauer admitted on Monday, November 14 that running as a write-in candidate was challenging. “I had just about three months to do my campaigning and try to get my name out there," he said. "It was a difficult situation to be in.”

MEAWW previously reported, federal charges are reportedly being brought against an Indianapolis Metropolitan police officer for allegedly stomping on the face of a Black man who was already being restrained. This comes after the horrifying incident's bodycam video surfaced. Sergeant Eric Huxley, 44, is seen in the video walking toward Jermaine Vaughn, 38, who is already restrained and on the ground, before kicking him.