Police brutality has become an uncomfortable reality in our world. Unfortunately, issues such as false arrest and excessive force happen more often than you might think, and they might hit closer to home then you’d expect. To protect yourself from police brutality, learn more about what it is and what it looks like in Meriden, Connecticut.
What is Police Brutality?
Police brutality essentially boils down to if an officer used force on an individual, and if that force was excessive. It can be tricky to recognize because not all violence committed by police officers constitutes police brutality. For example, if a police officer is trying to make an arrest, and the suspect pulls out a gun, the officer can apply the necessary force to protect themselves and subdue the suspect. However, if someone is not resisting arrest, a police officer should not start punching them in the face.
If you think that you are the victim of police brutality, there are things that you can do to protect yourself and get help. You might consider filing a civil rights complaint or a complaint with the United States Department of Justice.
Police Brutality in Meriden, Connecticut
Several police brutality situations have arisen in Meriden in the past several years. You can learn more about some of these cases here:
- In 2017, the City of Meriden settled a federal police brutality suit for $38,500. According to the article linked here, the lawsuit stems from an incident in 2012 where multiple individuals claim they were punched, kicked, and tasered by police for a noise complaint. Despite the settlement, the City says the officers were justified in their use of force and were not disciplined after an internal review.
- A former Meriden police officer in 2014 was sentenced to federal prison in Kentucky for a 14-month prison sentence. The linked article explains that the officer was sentenced for injuring a handcuffed prisoner by pushing him backwards into a holding cell. A video showed the police officer pushing the suspect back into his jail cell while handcuffed and hitting his head on a concrete bench. The officer then is seen entering the cell six different times to move the unconscious person around and blood is visibly seen in the video. The lawsuit against the officer was eventually settled in 2017, but the settlement amount was not disclosed. The City of Meriden was a defendant in the lawsuit but was later removed after the officer was convicted.
- A man appealed his jury trial verdict in favor of the defendants, individual members of the Meriden police department. Bryant v. Meriden Police Dep’t, No. 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48, at *1 (D. Conn. Mar. 31, 2017). The man alleged he was falsely arrested without probable cause. According to the source linked in this bullet point, he also claims that he was subjected to use of excessive force at the scene of the arrest and in a holding cell. The motion was denied and granted in part by the Connecticut Federal District Court. The court decided that the jury’s conclusion that his rights were not violated at the scene of the arrest was not an unreasonable conclusion. But, their decision that his rights were not violated when he was tasered in his holding cell was unreasonable and ruled for a retrial on that issue.
- In 2015, a woman claimed she suffered excessive force at the hands of a Meriden police officer, which caused injuries to her face and back. The woman alleges that the police mistakenly went after her when they came to break up a party and knocked her unconscious during the arrest.
After reading about these police brutality situations in Meriden, you probably have a better idea of what constitutes police brutality and what does not. If you still think that you are the victim of police brutality, contact our office for more help.