Six months in prison for man who claims police used excessive force

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – You have seen cell phone video John Willet several times as he was arrested in a case that sparked controversy over whether officers used excessive force.

Willet was being taken into custody on drug charges when he was struck several times while handcuffed on the ground. Police say they found heroin in his pants pocket.

RELATED | John Cirulli resigned his position as a Buffalo police officer and pleaded guilty to two federal misdemeanors over the recorded beating

Before learning his sentence, Willet’s attorney told Judge Amy Martoche that Willet has taken ownership for his actions, even referencing his confessions in our News 4 interview. Watch that interview here.

Willet spoke in court as well, saying he was caught in the wrong situation and that he has no prior history. But Judge Martoche says he has had several interactions with law enforcement in the past. She believes he had an opportunity to get on the correct path.

“I think she was fair, but at the same time I didn’t think he deserved to go to jail today, honestly. He’s not a bad guy. He’s a good guy. He didn’t mean to do what he did. I know he was wrong, but at the same time, he’s a good kid and he deserves a second chance,” said Willet’s brother, Edwin Martinez.

Willet faced up to a year in prison, but the judge sentenced him to six months. He was led from the courtroom in handcuffs.

Meanwhile, Willet has filed a notice of claim for $500,000 saying police used excessive force when they arrested him. 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s