A Meriden police officer has been indicted by federal authorities after being accused of making false and misleading statements after an investigation into allegations he pushed a handcuffed prisoner so hard he fell over, slammed his head against a bench and was injured.
In a complaint, Meriden Officer Evan Cossette, the son of police Chief Jeffry Cossette, was seen on surveillance video pushing a handcuffed man, Pedro Temich, in a holding cell after he was picked up for intoxication in Meriden in 2010.
In the video, Temich hits his head on a concrete bench and Evan Cossette is seen moving him, but never called for help. The action left Temich with a deep cut on his head.
According to arrest papers, Cossette said Temich "invaded my personal space and I became fearful that he would again attempt to engage me in a physical altercation and possibly head butt me."
The U.S. Attorney's Office claimed that Cossette made a false statement and used unreasonable force.
After the video was seen, two other police officers, Brian Sullivan and Donald Huston, complained because they felt he received special treatment after being investigated for excessive force because he is the chief's son.
The complaint said Evan Cossette was given a letter of reprimand and ordered to take four hours of training on the proper use of force. The complaint also said other officers would have been punished more harshly.
Jeffry Cossette said the complaint was made by "disgruntled officers."
The complaint also references multiple allegations of police brutality by the chief's son, including one when Evan Cossette was working as a civilian with the department and he was on a ride along.
On Wednesday, the victim's attorney said she and her client had waited "a long time for this moment" and look forward to showing the video of Evan Cossette pushing the suspect to the jury.
"Those that abuse their power should be held accountable," said attorney Sally A. Roberts in a statement Wednesday. "They should not be able to flaunt their abuse of power with impunity."
Roberts added that after the incident, Evan Cossette was "heard bragging and laughing about how the injuries" to her client.
"We are looking forward to having these cases go to trial," she said. "It is only in a courtroom where those who abuse their power will be held accountable by the jury."
On Wednesday, Meriden residents reacted to the indictment.
"If the FBI does not want to go ahead and let go of it, they must have some sort of substantial evidence," said John Medina of Meriden.
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