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State panel nixes bravery award
The police officer said reconsideration of issuing the award to him was "despicable."
Friday, March 18, 2005
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MONSON - A committee reviewing whether a veteran Monson police sergeant should receive a commendation for bravery has decided not to issue the award, said Katie Ford, a spokeswoman for the state Executive Office of Public Safety.

Sgt. Robert K. Shuemaker said yesterday he had planned to refuse the award if the decision had gone the other way.

The political fracas that prompted reconsideration of an earlier decision to issue the commendation is an insult to past recipients of the award, according to Shuemaker.

"My real disappointment is I'm not in a position to refuse it," he said.

The committee's decision comes six months after Shuemaker was told he would receive a Trooper George L. Hanna Award for his actions during a May 2003 incident at the Magic Lantern. He shot and killed 36-year-old Mark C. Merrill of Monson, who was threatening officers with a large barbecue fork.

Gov. W. Mitt Romney was scheduled to present the award in October. But the day before the Statehouse ceremony, the Executive Office of Public Safety decided to review the case again after receiving pleas from Merrill's family, which disputed the propriety of the shooting.

Shuemaker was cleared in the incident after an investigation by District Attorney William M. Bennett's office last year.

Shuemaker criticized the governor and his administration for their handling of the case.

"Romney is a wind sock that goes whatever way that the wind and pressure blows," he said. "I think that this administration is despicable."

"My biggest fear is that Mr. Romney's aspirations are higher," Shuemaker said.

Representatives for Romney could not be reached for comment last night.

Merrill's sister, Linda L. Scott said she is thankful for the committee's decision.

"I'm very appreciative that they took a look at this," she said. "From what we know, heroic would not be the appropriate word to describe what happened."

Shuemaker's stand differs.

"An armed violent criminal tried to kill me," he said. "Had I not been prepared, and had I been killed, I would have been the honored dead."

Shuemaker was nominated for the award by Monson Police Chief Curtis M. McKenzie, who was present at the shooting.

Hanna awards are presented annually by the Executive Office of Public Safety in memory of state Trooper George L. Hanna who was shot six times during a traffic stop in 1983 in Auburn.

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1,438 Posts
What a crock of shit ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! :BM:
Give him the medal.
He would be getting the medal of honor if the ass hole had stabbed him in the chest. WTF
Fuck the Gov. and his presidential ambitions ! ! ! ! ! !
I am starting to regret that I voted for this ass hole.
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