Sources: Officer seen kicking suspect to take plea

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – John Cirulli, the Buffalo Police officer who appears to be seen slapping and kicking a suspect in a video, is expected to plead guilty to criminal charges on Friday. According to sources, Cirulli will plead in federal court to two misdemeanor offenses.

Cirulli has been suspended following release of a video showing him kicking and slapping John Willet during an arrest in Riverside on April 19.

Five other officers seen by officials in the video remain on administrative leave as the investigation continues by the department’s Internal Affairs division.

Any plea agreement would involve Cirulli resigning from the police department, according to a law enforcement source.

The man in the center of the incident spoke to News 4 about his side of the story. John Willet, 22, was seen in the video being arrested by Buffalo Police. Willet said, “For them to put their hands on me the way they did just didn’t make sense.”

“I just got caught up wrong time, wrong situation, did the wrong things, and kind of messed myself up. But at the same time I didn’t deserve that,” Willet claims. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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