A 12-year Akron police veteran has resigned after the department found body camera footage showing he shoved a man face-first to the ground last fall.

Patrolman Mark Northup, whose history includes misconduct toward the public and at least one heroic action, tossed a man to the ground as he was removed Nov. 4 from the Euro Gyro on East Exchange Street.

Northup’s body camera recorded the incident, which was not reported to the department. Northup was dispatched to the location for a reported vehicle crash.

The footage was not found until earlier this year as part of an unrelated review, Maj. Mike Caprez,(cq) Akron deputy police chief, said Friday.

While at the crash scene, Northrup's camera shows he entered the bar and a woman can be heard complaining about a man fondling her. Northrup tells the man to leave and follows him outside. As they pass through the door, Northrup abruptly shoves the man, who falls forward onto the sidewalk.

Northup resigned on April 19 before disciplinary actions, including the possibility of being fired, could take place, Caprez said. Northup joined the Akron department in March 2007. He has been disciplined five times before for failing to follow department policies and being rude to citizens, according to city records.

Northup’s actions in November did not meet the department’s standards in dealing with the public, Caprez said.

“He did not uphold our core values,” he said. “He did have other disciplinary actions.”

That history included one incident of being rude to the public as well as the Nov. 4 event, Caprez said.

“He did some things well. He did some things not well,” Caprez said.

While it took time, the process that ended with Northup’s resignation shows the department handled things properly, he said.

“When we uncover a problem, we handle it,” Caprez said.

Northup is one of three Akron police officers credited with saving the life of a man involved in a fiery car crash into a utility pole in May 2008 at East Tallmadge Avenue and North Main Street, according to a story in the Akron Beacon Journal.

Northup and two other officers witnessed the crash, moved through downed live electrical wires and smashed the vehicle’s window to pull the driver out. Seconds later, the vehicle was engulfed in flames.

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan issued a statement on Northup's resignation.

“In this case, one of our own members of the police department reported the questionable behavior of another officer after it was discovered on body-worn camera footage,” the mayor said.

“This not only proves the value of our new body-worn camera technology in enhancing our police work, but also shows how the Akron Police Department can and will continue to hold themselves accountable to the high ethical standards that all officers are sworn to. Keeping a lens focused internally on our own operations is an important part of serving and protecting the greater community.”

 

Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or jmackinnon@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him @JimMackinnonABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/JimMackinnonABJ.