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News & Noteworthy

Video raises questions of police brutality

Updated: Tuesday, 24 Apr 2012, 10:39 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 24 Apr 2012, 9:55 PM EDT

Annie Rourke

MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- A new surveillance video is raising questions about whether or not Meriden police used excessive force while arresting a man in a hospital parking lot.

In the video you can see an elbow come up behind the police cruiser, someone is getting punched, and the person whose fists were flying was a Meriden police officer.

Officer Evan Cossette is now accused of brutality in the arrest of Joseph Bryans. Cossette is the son of Police Chief Jeffry Cossette.

This all started at MidState Medical Center back in January of 2011. News 8 is told Bryans was apparently intoxicated and there was concern that he would hurt himself.

The surveillance video shows Bryans walking out of the hospital. A nurse tries to stop him and then calls in police.

The camera picks up Bryans in the parking lot. One officer is chasing him on foot when Cossette pulls up the cruiser and blocks him in. The video veers away, trying to get in focus and when it returns Bryans is on the ground and you can see that he's getting punched. News 8 is told, after that Cossette used his Taser on him, twice.

Bryans says he filed a report with internal affairs, but the investigators dismissed his claim without ever looking at the surveillance video.

Not only that, two other men have filed complaints against Officer Cossette. They, too cite excessive force being used and claim that the department has done little to discipline him.

Two other police officers have also called for an investigation into the department, citing what they say is a pattern of favoritism, particularly in respect to Cossette.

The video is now in the hands of attorneys for both sides in the dispute.

Bryans' attorney says he was severely injured in the incident. They've now filed a federal lawsuit against Cossette, as well as his father, the deputy chief, the internal affairs investigators, the hospital and the city of Meriden.

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