Incident reports in Hartford's excessive force investigation rel - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Incident reports in Hartford's excessive force investigation released

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Emilo Diaz  (Hartford Police) Emilo Diaz (Hartford Police)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

On Tuesday, the Hartford Police Department released over 100 pages of documents regarding an excessive force investigation.

The officer involved, identified as now retired Sgt. Sean Spell, admitted he stomped on the head of a suspect, but he said the violence was justified.

Dash cam video appears to show the Hartford police officer stomping on the head of a suspect, and it has been the center of an excessive force investigation that began in June.

Spell’s incident report, along with nearly 100 pages of documents tied to the investigation, was released by the police department, through a Freedom of Information request.

Spell claims the suspect, Emilio Diaz, who had been an occupant in a stolen Toyota Camry, appeared to be high on PCP and was spitting at him.

In the report, Spell said "I approached Diaz who was handcuffed and kneeling and covered in blood...  Diaz was spitting blood out of his mouth towards me. I told Diaz to stop spitting...which he refused to comply. Not being in possession of latex gloves, I used my right foot forcefully onto the lower back of Diaz's head, and forced him to the ground."

Spell claimed that afterward, officers who had put on latex gloves assisted Diaz.

Eleven other officers also filed incident reports and each of the investigators wrote the force used to restrain Diaz seemed justified, although it is unclear if all of the officers witnessed Spell’s stomp.

One investigator, however, who filed a report more than two weeks after the incident, wrote that he witnessed Diaz spitting blood and Spell kicking him.

The officer wrote “I observed blood and saliva being spit from his mouth.... Diaz then appears to look back towards Sergeant Spell and I hear him make a sound consistent with that of spitting in the direction of Sergeant Spell. Sergeant Spell then used his foot to push Diaz to the ground in an apparent attempt to prevent Diaz from spitting him or other officers."

Other officers said Diaz and another suspect, Ricardo Perez, both refused to show their hands after they were arrested in West Hartford, and even shooting them with a stun gun had little impact on the suspect.

Eventually, officers recovered drugs from the stolen car.

Diaz’s lawyer has not yet responded to a request for comment.

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