Allegations of Verbal Harrassment By Danbury Police

May 28, 2013

Four Danbury police officers have been placed on administrative leave over the alleged verbal harassment of an undocumented driver. The traffic stop was recorded on a cell phone.

During a March 9th traffic stop, Danbury police allegedly subjected the driver -  an undocumented immigrant – to a long, verbally abusive tirade. A recording of the incident circulated among other police officers. Then in April, a complaint was filed.

After an internal investigation, Chief of Police Alan Baker says he referred four police officers to Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton.

"And the reason the referral was made to the Mayor’s Office is under our labor contract, the Chief of Police can only impose a ten-day suspension a  nd we believe the potential penalties exceed the authority of the Chief."

Baker says this did not begin as an immigration case or the intentional targeting of an undocumented immigrant.

"The officer that made the original stop made that stop based on probable cause and would have no idea who was operating that vehicle. What this complaint is about is the way that person was treated during the traffic stop and we do not treat anyone the way it is alleged in this traffic stop."

A hearing before the Mayor is set for June 6th.

For WNPR, I’m Diane Orson.