Three cops in Bridgeport, Connecticut were caught on camera beating a motionless man, and now, one of them has officially been indicted for violating the man’s civil rights.
The shocking video was taken by an anonymous witness who eventually posted it online. In it, Clive Higgins, who has been with the Bridgeport Police Department since 2002, kicks a man in the head and the neck after another officer uses a taser gun on him. Instead of stopping him, the two other officers, Elson Morales and Joseph Lawlor, proceed to help him stomp on motionless Orlando Lopez-Soto. Lopez-Soto was reportedly tased after a car chase, and even though he was incapacitated after the taser was deployed, the officers still decided to beat him.
“The use of force is an issue that both the city and the police department take very seriously,” said Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch and Police Chief Joseph Gaudett in a joint statement. “We expect a lot from our officers and the overwhelming majority of our officers do their job extraordinarily well. But when they violate the public trust, they need to be held accountable.”
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Morales and Lawlor pleaded guilty to deprivation of rights under color of law back in June, and in addition to resigning from the police department, they could potentially face up to a year in jail for the beating.
Higgins, on the other hand, was indicted and pleaded not guilty on Friday to the charges against him. He’s been released on $50,000 bail, and if he’s convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison.
Although the incident happened in 2011, the video surfaced just last year, and it’s been used as primary evidence in the case against the three officers. Lopez-Soto, the man beaten by the officers, pleaded guilty to drug and gun charges two years ago and was sentenced to five years in prison.
Sources: The Blaze, New Haven Register