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R.I. Police Officers in Hot Water over Push-Up Punishment

NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (ABC) — The jobs of some North Providence police officers may be on the line after they were found issuing an unusual punishment.

Cops caught teens vandalizing a mailbox, and instead of filing a report, they ordered the teens to drop and give them some push-ups.

Everyone seems to have a different opinion on whether or not the officers were in the right when they ordered the kids to drop and do push-ups but North Providence’s police chief isn’t taking it lightly.

Behind the North Providence police cruisers, you can see a group of teens doing push-ups on the side of the road.

It was their so-called ‘punishment’ after officers caught them vandalizing a mailbox in this Springdale Avenue neighborhood over the holiday weekend.

“It appears that everyone involved was doing push-ups,” says North Providence Police Chief Paul Martellini.

The teens, ranging in age from 15 to 18, used a reflector like this to knock over the single mailbox.

Four officers showed up moments later.

Their actions are being called into question and an internal investigation has been launched.

“To allow our police officers to administer, how can I say, some street punishment, I can’t condone it,” says North Providence Mayor Charles Lombardi.

According to the police report obtained by WLNE-TV, at least one of the teens told officers he was ‘tired’ while counting out push-ups.

Residents have differing opinions on the officers behavior.

“I agree 100%. They have to behave and they have to pay the punishment,” says one resident.

“They should have arrested them, brought them in and then had their parents come in pay for the damage that they did,” adds another.

Those 4 officers remain on the job, with the mayor leaving any disciplinary action to the police chief.

“I do support suspension but I would also air on, and respect what the chief feels is the right disciple for the officers,” the Mayor says.

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