5 Hartford officers disciplined following excessive force incide - WFSB 3 Connecticut

DEVELOPING

5 Hartford officers disciplined following excessive force incident

Posted: Updated:
Video showed now retired Sgt. Sean Spell kicking a suspect in the head. (Hartford police photo) Video showed now retired Sgt. Sean Spell kicking a suspect in the head. (Hartford police photo)
Emilio Diaz and Ricardo Perez. (Hartford police photos) Emilio Diaz and Ricardo Perez. (Hartford police photos)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Hartford police said they disciplined five of their own officers following an investigation into excessive force that began last spring.

According to Hartford police, officers from the capital city and West Hartford pursued a stolen vehicle through city streets on June 4.

According to a 68-page report released on Wednesday, two suspects, Emilio Diaz and Ricardo Perez, were apprehended with the help of a Taser, but not before they suffered facial injuries.

Hartford police said they released the report to the community for transparency's sake.

"We released everything that we could, as fast as we could because I know that's what they want," said Deputy Chief Brian Foley.

Police said cruiser dash cameras captured footage of possible misconduct.

The department released the dash video of the arrests last fall. During the arrests, it said Officer Ricardo Colon was seen kicking one of the suspects, Diaz, after he was already on the ground.

"I understand the person was trying to get away, but you have the person out of the car and you have them incapacitated, where did all of the beating and brutalization come from?" said Cornell Lewis, a community activist in Hartford.

Colon, Det. Christopher Mastroianni, Officer Stephen Barone, Officer James Prignano and Sgt. Luan Bojka were named in the report as receiving disciplinary action.

Two other officers were also included in the investigation. Sgt. Sean Spell retired over the summer. Spell was caught on camera kicking the suspect in the head.

"We did not leave it at one officer being arrested, close the books and say we're done," Foley said.

Spell still faces an assault charge.

The seventh officer was not named and not punished, according to the report.

The report said Colon failed to write up a report on what happened even though he was seen on camera. Colon also lied about it to investigators when he was questioned.

He received a total of 100 calendar days of suspension and taken out of a "detective" position.

Mastroianni received a two-day suspension, Barone will get a four-day suspension and Prignano and Bojka received "oral reprimands."

The report said 41 officers were interviewed, the dash cam video was reviewed and searches were done on Spell's cell phone, personnel file and training history.

"I think you're seeing we did everything as a police department when this all unfolded," Foley said.

The incident sparked protests in Hartford.

Lewis, said these types of events happen far too often all across the country and they need to be addressed.

"We might feel like it’s not enough and we will act accordingly," he said.

Eyewitness News will have more on this story throughout the day.

To read the whole report, click here.

Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.