2 Bridgeport cops plead guilty to rights violation

(WTNH/ File)
(WTNH/ File)

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — Two Bridgeport police officers have pleaded guilty to violating a man’s civil rights by using unreasonable force in an incident captured on a videotape.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says 42-year-old Elson Morales and 41-year-old Joseph Lawlor pleaded guilty Tuesday in Bridgeport to deprivation of rights under color of law.

The video showed police officers kicking and stomping Orlando Lopez-Soto after he was shot with a stun gun and fell to the ground in Beardsley Park in May 2011 following a car chase. It’s not clear who recorded the video, which was posted on YouTube.

Prosecutors say Morales used his stun gun a second time after the man was effectively incapacitated and Lawlor kicked him several times.

The city recently settled the case by agreeing to pay $198,000 to Lopez-Soto.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 2.

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