HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT — Hartford police have released footage showing officers’ use of excessive force on two suspects, who were caught following a dangerous car chase that involved 31 cops.
Police went after Ricardo Perez and Emilio Diaz after spotting them in a stolen Toyota Camry on the night of June 4, reports the Hartford-Courant. The driver crashed into several vehicles, and led the cops on a long pursuit.
Officers eventually deployed stop sticks to disable the car, and used their cruisers to box the vehicle in.
NBC Connecticut reports that Perez struggled with police. He was tasered by an officer, but when it didn’t affect him, he was punched by another in the torso. Diaz was likewise beaten up. In the video, he is seen being kicked and hit at least twice with a baton.
After Diaz was handcuffed and dragged to a nearby tree, dashcam footage shows plainclothes officer Sean Spell approaching him. When the suspect lifts his head off the ground, Spell can be seen violently stomping him on the head.
Police found marijuana and PCP in the car. Diaz himself admitted he was under the influence at the time, but claims he was trying to comply with police, and had no idea the car was stolen.
Both men have pending charges related to the car chase and drug possession. Perez has been charged with reckless driving, engaging police in pursuit, driving without a license, and drug possession. Diaz was charged with interfering with an officer, marijuana possession, and possession with intent to sell. Both men pleaded not guilty.
Meanwhile, an investigation has been opened to look into Spell’s actions, as well as how the entire incident came to be.