A couple of ways to examine this: it’s never a good look when abusive cops at a birthday party cost taxpayers more than $340,000. But what if this case had gone to trial? Could be a boat load more in a situation loaded with tragedy. City lawyers did not want to take on that risk. And this is just the start.
From Dan Tepfer, CT Post:
City officials have agreed in principle to pay more than $340,000 to a local man who is shown on video being beaten by several police officers during a birthday party in his sister’s yard.
The settlement, totaling $342,500 for Carmelo Mendez, still must be approved by the City Council. Mendez’s lawyer, Robert Berke, and City Attorney R. Christopher Meyer declined comment pending that approval.
… The city’s Office of Internal Affairs Investigation found that 17 Bridgeport police officers and two civilian detention officers used excessive force, lied on official reports and violated a laundry list of department regulations in the 2017 Colorado Avenue incident. Two police officers cited in the OIA report, Sgt. Mark Belinkie and Officer Thomas Lattanzio, committed suicide before the report was released.
Mendez’s is one of four civil rights lawsuits brought against the city by Berke for the Colorado Avenue incident. The other suits, filed on behalf of Peter Diaz, Jose Alvarado and Mendez’s sister, Wanda Mendez, are currently in settlement talks.
Full story here.