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Connecticut Prosecutor Says Use Of Force Justified In Four Police Shootings

Hartford State's Attorney Gail Hardy has closed four of the five investigations into police use of force that were pending. The earliest incident dates back to 2008.
Hartford State's Attorney Gail Hardy has closed four of the five investigations into police use of force that were pending. The earliest incident dates back to 2008.

The state has closed four investigations into the use of deadly force by a police officer, and in each case, prosecutors said the use of force was justified.

Hartford State’s Attorney Gail Hardy released four reports Friday related to officer-involved shootings since 2008 that resulted in the deaths of Joseph Bak (March 3, 2008, in Hartford), Taurean Wilson (Jan. 10, 2009, in East Hartford), Edmanuel Reyes (May 19, 2011, in Manchester), and Ernesto Morales (July 11, 2012, in Hartford).

Hardy said that each fatal shooting was justified and that no further action was required in any of the cases. 

“I again wish to extend my condolences to the families of the deceased for the loss of their loved ones and my deepest apologies for the time that it has taken to complete these reports,” Hardy said in a written statement. “I am also publicly committing myself to the timely completion of all such investigations in the future.”

The Connecticut Criminal Justice Commission has been looking into Hardy’s handling of use-of-force investigations. She came under scrutiny after the Hartford Courant reported she had a significant backlog.

These are four of the five cases that Hardy had pending. The fifth is still open. That investigation is into the death of Anthony Jose Vega Cruz, an 18-year-old shot and killed by a Wethersfield police officer in April.

This post will be updated.

Copyright 2019 Connecticut Public Radio

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