Moral Low Ground


Video: Bridgeport Cops Elson Morales, Joseph Lawlor and Clive Higgins Kick, Stomp Tased and Handcuffed Suspect

Three Bridgeport, Connecticut police officers have been placed on administrative leave after the release of a video showing them brutally kicking and stomping a chase suspect after immobilizing him with a stun gun.

The video, which was posted on YouTube earlier this month, shows officers firing a stun gun at a suspect fleeing through Beardsley Park. The shock sends the suspect flying face-first to the ground as someone off camera yells “nice shot!” He does not get up.

Two Bridgeport officers pursuing the suspect then proceed to repeatedly kick and stomp the immobile man. One of the officers handcuffs the suspect but the kicking and stomping continues. A third officer arrives on the scene and immediately joins in the attack. At no point during the video does the suspect present any visible threat to the officers.

At one point in the video, a witness shouts at the officers to “cut the shit.”

The Connecticut Post reports that the incident occurred in 2011, although the video was only posted this month.

Three Bridgeport officers have been placed on administrative leave or desk duty pending an investigation. They are: Elson Morales, Joseph Lawlor and Clive Higgins. All are reportedly 10-year veterans of the force.

Police Chief Joseph Gaudett Jr. said further disciplinary action would be taken if the investigation concludes the officers committed any offenses.

“I’m concerned by what I saw and ordered the Office of Internal Affairs to conduct an immediate, thorough and timely investigation,” Gaudett is quoted in the Post. “If violations are found, we will take action. Our officers are held to higher standards and rightfully so, and we intend to maintain these standards.”

Bridgeport police would not divulge the identity of man in the video or what his alleged offense was. Police sources told the Post that they believed the suspect had a gun. No such weapon was found, although he was wearing a holster. The suspect was charged in connection with the incident and did not file a complaint against the officers who attacked him.

In November 2011, Ronald Cristiano Jr, 51, of Trumbull died after being shot with a stun gun by a Bridgeport police officer.

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