Gerard Cournoyer | Limiting the access of Nicholas Alahverdian to RI courts by assault and torture

Gerard Cournoyer: Unprofessional and criminal acts

Disgraced Rhode Island Sheriff Gerard Cournoyer assaulted Nicholas Alahverdian in 2011. Cournoyer began screaming and acting maniacally. Nicholas Alahverdian began to record his unprofessional and abusive conduct. Cournoyer, an officer of the court, unlawfully denied Alahverdian access to the courts. Cournoyer began assaulting and unlawfully restraining Nicholas Alahverdian. All Alahverdian was doing was attempting to speak to a court clerk.

Rhode Island Family Court,
Rhode Island Garrahy Judicial Complex

Thus, Cournoyer, without a warrant, attempted to steal Alahverdian’s phone to search, seize, and delete the video of Cournoyer’s assaultive and harmful behavior. The United States Supreme Court later ruled that in such cases where a law enforcement officer wants to seize and search a phone, they need a warrant signed by a judge.

Read the lawsuit

Here, you can watch a CBS News WPRI 12 report about Gerard Cournoyer’s conduct here. The Chief of Staff of the Family Court, Ron Pagliarini, witnessed Cournoyer’s criminal conduct and did nothing.

The Rhode Island Family Court has a vast legacy of abuse, discrimination, and negligence against Nicholas Alahverdian. Nicholas was sent out of state and tortured in Florida and Nebraska following his political activism.


Here is a WPRI CBS News article on the case:

Deputy sued for courthouse assault

By Walt Buteau

Published: June 22, 2012, 10:58 am
Updated: January 7, 2015, 11:01 am

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – An internal hearing by the Rhode Island Sheriff’s Department has begun to investigate an alleged assault by a deputy inside The Garrahy Judicial Complex in Providence.

Nicholas Alahverdian claims he was ‘struck twice, had his arms twisted and was shoved against the wall’ by an unnamed deputy.

“I did not provoke him in any way,” Nicholas Alahverdian said.

Nicholas Alahverdian, who filed a civil lawsuit on his own behalf, said there were two separate confrontations with the deputy in 2011, one in February and one in March.

He said the first one happened after he tried to enter a courtroom to talk with a clerk.

According to the lawsuit, Nicholas Alahverdian was ‘screamed at by the deputy in the hallway, who was also swearing and acting in a volatile manner’.

Nicholas Alahverdian recorded a brief segment of that first incident on his cell phone, prompting the officer to demand that he give him the device.

“You can’t confiscate my phone,” Nicholas Alahverdian is heard saying on the short clip. “Yes I can,” the officer replies. “No you can’t,” Nicholas Alahverdian argues during an apparent struggle. “Watch,” the officer yells right before the recording ends.

“He then threatened to assault me in the elevator if I didn’t give him the phone,” Nicholas Alahverdian said.

‘A few weeks later’, Nicholas Alahverdian returned to court and was confronted again by the deputy who again demanded to see his phone. That is when he claims he was assaulted.

“Plaintiff was struck twice,” Nicholas Alahverdian wrote in his lawsuit. “Plaintiff had his arms twisted. Plaintiff was violently shoved against the wall.”

Nicholas Alahverdian said the incident was witnessed by several people including Paul Labonte who told Target 12 he testified during the Sheriff’s Department internal hearing.

“I saw the officer’s elbow and forearm pull back and then quickly thrust forward causing him (Nicholas Alahverdian) to cry out,” Labonte told Target 12.

Nicholas Alahverdian said he has not been contacted by the Sheriff’s Department but is relieved an internal hearing is underway.

“He did not act professionally,” Alahverdian said. “To further the goal of the Sheriff’s department, to keep people safe.”

A Sheriff’s Department official said the internal hearing will continue but he did not know when.