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Connecticut criminal defense attorneyOver the last few years, the issue of excessive force by police officers has become one of national focus and attention. In many circles, the phrase “police brutality” is used instead of “excessive force.” Following several high-profile situations caught on camera in which criminal suspects died in interactions with the police, lawmakers in Connecticut decided it was time to take definitive action.

On October 1, 2020, a series of new laws took effect throughout the state. These new statutes have been referred to in reports as “police accountability laws” because they address various types of behaviors by police officers. One of the new laws directly pertains to the use of excessive force by the police and the duty of officers to intervene when they witness the use of excessive force.  

Connecticut Police Academy Issues Guidance Memo

A week before the new laws went into effect, Karen Boisvert, the Administrator of the Connecticut Police Academy, issued a general notice to law enforcement officers across the state. The notice was addressed to police chiefs, training officers, protective services agencies, and resident troopers. The guidance notice summarized the portion of the statute that pertains to an officer’s use of force and laid out the expectations for all officers.

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one dollar verdict, appeal, Hartford criminal defense attorneyIn a case that began nearly a decade ago, a federal appellate court recently rejected a New Haven man’s appeal of a $1 verdict. The nominal verdict was awarded in the man’s civil suit, during which he claimed the use of excessive force by police officers from Hamden and New Haven in the course of his 2006 arrest for assault.

According to reports, police were called to the man’s house, and when he refused to answer questions, a warrant was obtained for his arrest. When police attempted to arrest him, the man tried to flee in his car. Police stopped the vehicle and removed the man, who reportedly swung at officers and tried to run. The man grabbed a tree branch, swinging it like a baseball bat, trying to fend off police. In the end, four officers subdued and arrested him.

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