Use of Force
8:08 am
Sun August 24, 2014

Malloy Calls Hartford Police Officer's Use of Taser "Inappropriate"

Malloy and area police chiefs speak at a forum at Hartford's Faith Congregational Church on Friday.
Malloy and area police chiefs speak at a forum at Hartford's Faith Congregational Church on Friday.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Police are still investigating an incident from last week in which a police officer used a stun gun on a city teenager. The family has called the use of force unnecessary.   

"In watching that video, I was momentarily sickened."
Gov. Dannel Malloy

Members of community gathered to discuss the incident on Friday night, and Governor Dannel Malloy said he thought the use of the Taser was inappropriate. 

People lined the pews at Hartford's Faith Congregational Church Friday night. One of them was Malloy, who recalled what he felt when he saw the video of 18-year-old Luis Anglero being shot with the Taser.  "I have to tell you," he said, "in watching that video, I was momentarily sickened."

The incident occurred last Tuesday, according to police, as they were breaking up an unruly crowd. Police said that Anglero was a "clear aggressor and agitator."

Surveillance video showed the officer shooting Anglero after the teen had stopped walking and put his hands down. Relatives said the teen fell, hit his head, and appeared to have a seizure.

Last week, Anglero was treated at Hartford Hospital and later released. Officers charged him with interfering with police and breach of peace. A police report identified the officer as Detective Shawn Ware.

On Friday, people came with different opinions of the incident, of the use of Tasers, and of the officer himself.

"What happens when the officers are misconducting themselves in our communities?" said Scot Esdaile, the president of the Connecticut NAACP. "It's extremely important that they get arrested, that they are put in jail, that they are put away, and not continuing to abuse our people in our community. I say that there needs to be a strong message sent that there's zero tolerance for this type of behavior for police officers, as well as people in the community."

Sam Saylor took a different tone. "I saw, like the governor, that tape, that video, and I was sickened by it -- worried about the boy, worried about the mother of the boy," he said. "I know that sometimes, we all know in this room, that, on a good day with a good cop with good intentions, sometimes we make bad moves. On this day, it was a bad move. We need to retrain him, and others, that our citizens are worth a second chance, a second conversation... He may be a good cop, and it was a good day, but it was a bad move."

The last to speak was Maryann Yearwood. Luis Anglero is her son. "My son was hurt for no apparent reason," she said. "He not only hurt my son; you hurt my family... I can't close my eyes. I can't eat. You hurt my child, and I'm just asking for justice. I want him to go to jail. I want him not to have nothing that he can have any type of gun, anything -- you [are] a threat to my community."

After the meeting, I spoke with Doug McCrory, a state representative in Hartford. He knows the police officer in question, and called him a fine young man. "He's a good police officer from this neighborhood," McCrory said.  "[He] always wanted to be a police officer, [and] has an outstanding record of working with people in this community."

The police investigation is ongoing.

This report includes information from The Associated Press.