Mother claims police used excessive force against her son - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Mother claims police used excessive force against her son in Bridgeport

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BRIDGEPORT, CT (WFSB) -

The mother of a man shot multiple times by Bridgeport police officers spoke to Eyewitness News exclusively and alleged excessive force was used against her son.

"I still can't get past it," said Selma Morey, who is the mother. "I really can't."

According to police, a security guard from the University of Bridgeport spotted Michael Stinson, 35, of Bridgeport, trying to break into an unmarked Bridgeport Police Department vehicle that was parked on Atlantic Street near the intersection with Lafayette Street on Feb. 1.

Police were immediately notified of what was taking place, and an officer and security guard spotted Stinson, at which time a chase ensued. During the foot chase, police said Stinson took out a knife and began to threaten the pursuing officers.

"The suspect was actually trying to get inside the building, pressing buzzers, and they caught him in the hallway," one witness told Eyewitness News.

Police said stun guns and cap-stun were used on Stinson several times to subdue him; however, he continued to threaten and lunge toward officers with the knife.

At this point, Lt. Brian Fitzgerald and Sgt. Mark Belinkie reportedly shot Stinson multiple times. Witnesses told Eyewitness News that they heard seven to eight shots during the incident.

"There's still bullets in my son," Morey said.

Stinson continued to fight with EMS workers who were trying to administer emergency care. He was taken to Bridgeport Hospital, where he remains in the intensive care unit.

Stinson will face charges once he is released from the hospital.

Morey told Eyewitness News she is prepared to sue the Bridgeport Police Department for excessive use of force and hired attorneys Robert Berke and Robert Photos.

Berke already has a pending suit against the police force for an incident caught on tape of three officers stomping on a suspect.

"It would certainly beg the question of whether this is more rampant than what most people tend to believe," Berke said.

Three officers - Elson Morales, Joseph Lawlor and Clive Higgins - have all been placed on paid leave after a YouTube video allegedly captured them using a stun gun and then kicking Orlando Soto, 27.

Berke said Soto was initially stopped for a traffic violation but got out of his car and ran. He added after the beating, his client needed six stitches on his face.

The Bridgeport police chief said an internal investigation has been ordered and if violations are found, they will "take action," according to a previous statement from the department.

Fitzgerald, who allegedly shot Stinson, was recently exonerated for another shooting death he was involved in a few years ago.

Both Fitzgerald and Belinkie are on desk duty as an internal investigation is conducted.

In the end, Morey told Eyewitness News that she is focused on her son getting better.

"For everything that happened to him, it's a long road and that's the most important thing to me," she said.

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