Seemingly every other week or so, there is a new report of alleged misconduct of some type involving police officers. Over the last several years, we have heard countless stories of police shootings, overaggressive behavior by officers against criminal suspects, and allegations of blatant and systemic racism. Due in large part to these types of examples, many people are hesitant to trust law enforcement officers and such apprehension is understandable. Now, a federal lawsuit recently filed in Connecticut suggests that there is even a measure of distrust of certain officers and officials among other police officers.
Earlier this month a former member of the Rocky Hill police department filed suit in federal court in Bridgeport seeking damages for harassment and discrimination. The suit names four defendants, including the Rocky Hill police chief and another officer, as well as the current and former Town Managers of Rocky Hill.
According to the lawsuit, the former officer was terminated from his position in November after more than two years of false complaints, unwarranted investigations, and discrimination based on the “perception that he suffered from a mental disability.” The former officer claims that the two named police officers conspired to defame him and would not stop until he was no longer on the force. He further says he was suspended without cause in August of 2015 and forced to under mental health counseling. Two months later, he was suspended again, allegedly for not moving a privately-owned vehicle from his own property.
In December 2015, the man filed complaints of hostile work environment with employment and civil rights agencies. He claims that following his complaints, he was subsequently retaliated against and “subjected to further harassment.” The former officer is seeking compensatory and punitive damages from all four defendants.
If the former officer’s claims are proven true, the integrity of the entire Rocky Hill police department could be called into question. A law enforcement officer who is willing to harass and target a brother officer may be just as willing—if not more so—to take liberties with a detainee or suspect under arrest. Implications of police misconduct are extremely serious and, if not addressed, could lead to bigger problems like artificially inflated criminal charges and wrongful convictions.
It is very possible that you have been the victim of police misconduct without even knowing it, as many people do not fully understand their rights and the limitations of law enforcement. If you believe that your rights may have been compromised, contact an experienced Hartford criminal defense attorney today. Call [[phone1]] to schedule a free consultation at Woolf Law Firm, LLC and get the guidance you need.