One brutality case is bad enough, but when you have several pending at the same time, it could be a sign of a big problem. The Bridgeport Police Department currently has officers named in three separate cases, each alleging brutality.
According to the Hartford Courant, several officers are currently named in three pending cases; some of them are named in more than one of the brutality allegations.
First is the case involving a disabled man. The incident in question reportedly took place on May 23, 2011. The police say they stopped the disabled man for questioning, he says they put their hands on him for no reason. According to the Courant:
“I asked him what he was doing. The next thing I knew, Officer Morales and an officer later identified as Officer Lawlor both threw me violently to the ground, and on the way down, the left side of my face struck one of the police cars,” causing a cut.
He also alleges that he was assaulted when he couldn't comply with the order to place his hands behind his back. The man suffers from partial paralysis on his left side and limited mobility on his right. The police eventually transported him to the hospital and then charged him with interfering with a police officer and assaulting a police officer.
Interestingly enough, the two officers listed in his complaint are involved in another as well. This second case is making the rounds on the Internet in a YouTube video, which shows a man being assaulted by police officers in Beardsley Park. This victim required stitches and suffered bruises and a fractured hand.
Finally, the third case, which also has some officers in common with the beating in Beardsley Park, is involved in a federal lawsuit. The complainant alleges his jaw was broken in three places by overzealous officers after a police chase.
Individual internal investigations are said to have been carried out or are in progress in each of the three incidences. But, one has to wonder if a larger investigation is warranted, particularly since the cases each include some of the same officers and some others from the department. Is the Bridgeport Police Department fostering a culture of brutality?
Police officers have tough jobs. But perhaps the toughest job they have is in balancing their power so as to prevent abuses. While one would think it's easy to know what lines shouldn't be crossed, these cases out of Bridgeport show perhaps it isn't so easy after all.
Whether you are accused of cocaine possession or even domestic assault, the police don't have the right to mistreat you and trample on your constitutional rights. If you're facing criminal charges, contact me today.