You never want to believe that police brutality and corruption can occur in the United States, and especially not in your own backyard. But unfortunately, many cities and towns in Connecticut have faced excessive force issues and police brutality. To protect yourself from police brutality, learn more about what it is and what it looks like in New Britain, Connecticut.
What is Police Brutality?
Police brutality can be tricky to recognize because of the fact that not all violence committed by police officers is considered police brutality. Police brutality only occurs when an officer uses excessive force, or too much force, when dealing with another person. So for example, if a police officer is trying to arrest an individual, and they are resisting, the officer can use force to make sure that they cooperate. However, they need to use an appropriate amount of force given the situation. If an individual is cooperating, there is no need to use force at all, and any force might be considered police brutality in this situation.
If you think that you are the victim of police brutality, you can take steps 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 New Britain, Connecticut
Police brutality can occur anywhere, and there have been cases of it in New Britain. Here is some information about those situations:
- An individual brought a 1983 civil rights suit against the City of New Britain and an individual New Britain police officer for use of excessive force, false arrest, and infliction of emotional distress. Roguz v. Walsh, No. 09-1052, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172644, at *1 (D. Conn. Dec. 5, 2012). According to this source, the plaintiff claims police were called to his home when a neighbor overheard him and his brother having an argument. When the police arrived, the argument had already ended but one of the police officers immediately handcuffed the plaintiff upon entering the home. The plaintiff then alleges that after calling the police “pigs,” the officer slammed his head into the wall three times while the plaintiff was still handcuffed. This caused him to suffer many injuries including a fractured nose and lacerations to his head. The Connecticut District Court found in favor of the plaintiff for him to move forward with his claim against the officer and the City for false arrest and excessive force.
- In the summer of 2019, the New Britain police department launched an internal investigation after one of their officers was caught on camera punching a man he was trying to arrest. The source linked here claims that the suspect alleges that he was complying with police when the officer grabbed him from behind, threw him to the floor, and then repeatedly punched him in the face and body. The same officer was involved in a 2017 fatal police shooting of a young woman also caught on video. The officer was cleared in that case.
- A man brought a 1983 civil rights claim against individual New Britain police officers and the New Britain police department for showing up to his house without a warrant and using excessive force. Cane v. New Britain Police Dep’t., No. 3:16-cv-1638, 2017 U.S. Dist., at *1, (D. Conn. Feb. 27, 2017). This source says that the man claims the police arrived at his house in the middle of the night without a warrant, trying to get him to leave his home. After telling the police multiple times in person and on the phone to come back with a warrant, officers entered his yard and porch and cut a hole in his garage. Fearing for his life, the individual surrendered to the police but even though he had no weapons they tackled him to the ground. This caused a tear in his right rotator cuff, which required surgery. The Connecticut Federal District Court dismissed the individual’s claim in part but allowed the claims against individual officers to go forward and denied the individual’s request for counsel.
If you suspect that you are the victim of excessive abuse, false arrest, or police brutality, contact our office. We can help you determine the best course of action to take in your situation.