Meriden police review finds officers’ use of force justified in traffic stop arrest

MERIDEN — A police department administrative review of officers’ use of force during a traffic stop more than a week ago found their actions were justified.

The arrest occurred May 22 on West Main Street near police headquarters, according to a press release issued by police Lt. John Mennone.

Mennone wrote the primary officer involved in the traffic stop told the driver, whose identity was not disclosed, why she was stopped and requested identification. The woman gave the officer a last name and refused to provide further information, according to the release.

Police said the officer asked for the documents several times, but the woman did not hand them over. The officer instructed the driver multiple times to get out of the vehicle, but she refused.

The officer then removed the woman from the vehicle and placed her in what police said was a “prone position” to handcuff her.

When the woman resisted, the initial officer and another officer physically restrained the woman, police said.

According to Mennone, a review of body camera video and related reports showed that the primary officer tried to handcuff the woman, while the second officer placed her knee on the woman’s shoulder blade to prevent her from flailing.

Once the woman was handcuffed, officers “immediately ceased” use of force techniques and placed the woman in a police vehicle.

According to Mennone, police are required to report all use of force incidents. Those reports and body camera video related to the incidents are then examined, to ensure the incident “is consistent with policy procedures, tactics and training.”

In this case, Mennone wrote, the woman who was forcefully detained had actively resisted the officer and was trying to avoid being apprehended.

“Furthermore, the officer attempted numerous times to deescalate the incident and afforded the suspect many opportunities to comply with lawful requests,” Mennone wrote. “Officers removed the female utilizing soft hand control techniques that are utilized when suspects are reluctant to be taken into custody.”

Police did not provide any other details, including the reason for the motor vehicle stop.

Police did not name any of the officers involved in the incident.



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