Police brutality is something that the general public has become more and more familiar with. Police brutality and excessive force are complicated ideas. Not all violence constitutes police brutality. Here, you can learn more about these issues and instances of police brutality in Hartford, Connecticut.
What is Police Brutality?
If you think that you might be the victim of police brutality, you first need to understand what police brutality is. Police brutality occurs when a police officer uses excessive force in a given situation. If the force used was unnecessary, the officer could be guilty of police brutality.
If you find yourself in a situation where you think police brutality occurred, you have a few options. First, you might consider filing a complaint with the United States Department of Justice. Second, you could file a civil rights complaint. If you are worried about police brutality in your area, learn more about recent complaints here.
Police Brutality in Hartford, Connecticut
Police brutality does occur in Hartford, and you can learn more about a few recent cases below.
- A man brought a suit under a 1983 civil rights claim for police officers using excessive force when they arrested him on December 17, 2004. Outlaw v. City of Hartford, 884 F.3d 351, 356 (2d Cir. 2018). Outlaw v. City of Hartford says that the man alleges he was struck repeatedly with a police baton, which caused injury to his head and broke his knee. A jury sided with the plaintiff’s claims of excessive force and awarded him a total of $452,192 in damages. The defendants appealed the jury’s judgement but the Second Circuit, a federal court, ruled in favor of the plaintiff on the matter of the police officer’s use of excessive force. They did this because no competent police officer would think that beating an unresisting jay walking victim is reasonable force. However, the higher court did agree that the City of Hartford was not liable for the police officer’s actions.
- In 2019, the City of Hartford approved a $450,000 settlement to be paid to a man who was beaten by a Hartford police officer. The man was beaten as part of a mistaken identity from 2004 which subsequently ended the man’s professional football career.
- A Hartford police officer is currently under scrutiny of the Hartford State’s Attorney office for an arrest he attempted to make in May of 2019. The officer was part of a narcotics warrant operation when he struck an individual suspect in the shoulder area with his radio when the suspect attempted to stand up and flee.
- The Second Circuit Court has reinstated a lawsuit against a Hartford police officer for using excessive force when arresting an individual for a drug charge. The man alleges the officer jumped on his back to handcuff him when he was already face down and broke part of his spine and rib.
- In 2017, the Hartford police department discipled five of their own officers after a violent arrest following a stolen car chase. A few of the officers were caught on camera kicking the suspect after he had already been subdued. The officers allegedly initially lied about the incident when the first-time investigators asked about it. The discipline was a range of suspension time for each officer.
- A retired Hartford police sergeant was convicted of assault in the third degree. This was a result of his use of force against a man in a 2016 pursuit. The former sergeant received a year suspended jail sentence and probation for two years. Police dash cam video showed the officer kicking a passenger in the back of the head around 30 times after he responded to car chase.
If you think that you are the victim of police brutality, our office can help. Learn more by contacting us.