NAACP chapter accuses Meriden police of abuse, calls for chief to be fired

MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Jason Teal, President of the Meriden/Wallingford NAACP, is calling for big changes at the Meriden Police Department after an incident inside their jail cells.

The accuser, who is a Meriden resident, told the NAACP that officers continued to beat and use a stun gun on him although he was already in handcuffs and restrained. He also claims that an illegal cavity search was performed on him twice: on the street where he was initially arrested and in his jail cell.

“He is Tased, he’s beat, and they performed an illegal cavity search with him while he was in the cell,” he said.

The NAACP released jailhouse surveillance video that captured the entire incident. The officer walks in with a Taser in hand. There is no struggling, but the officer deploys the stun gun and the suspect collapses.

Teal says a judge has ruled the suspect in the cell can now sue the police department because his rights were violated.

“The sad part about it is it’s not all of the police. There are a lot of good police officers, but the bad part of it is the minority puts a bad stain on the entire department,” Teal said.

News 8 reached out to the police department for comment about the incident, but our phone calls and emails haven’t been returned. The NAACP says it will not stop here because there have been other cases where police officers have been cleared by their own department, but indicted by the federal government.

In 2013, a federal jury convicted Evan Cossette, the son of the police chief, of using unreasonable force after he shoved a handcuffed prisoner into the cell where he fell and hit his head.

“He pushes a guy in the cell, they cover it up, there’s a hollow investigation done on his son, they find him not guilty, and then the feds come in and indict the chief’s son and now he’s serving jail time,” said Teal.

He says the chief should have been fired back then when he covered for his son, and he needs to be fired now.

“I think we need to clear house,” said Teal. “I think this will be good for the police morale as well. I don’t think the officers were too happy with the Cossette case either. They looked at it like ‘wow, you’re going to let your son do this?'”

He says they plan to release another video next week showing a man in handcuffs being beaten by Meriden police.

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