Families Call for Justice After Report Clears Officers of Wrongdoing in New Britain Deadly Shooting - NECN

Families Call for Justice After Report Clears Officers of Wrongdoing in New Britain Deadly Shooting

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Families Respond to New Britain Deadly Shooting Report

    Families called for justice on Saturday after five New Britain Police officers were cleared of any wrongdoing after shooting a 20-year-old man to death.

    (Published Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019)

    Families are calling for justice on Saturday after five New Britain Police officers were cleared of any wrongdoing after shooting a 20-year-old man to death.

    They gathered at the very spot where the shooting occurred.

    On Thursday, the Fairfield State's Attorney's Office released its report regarding the incident that happened on December 14, 2017. It said the five New Britain Police officers had reason to fear for their lives.

    "Watching the videos was, it was horrific. It sickened me to my stomach and I don't even see where any of these officers were in any immediate danger. I saw a young man, who was scared and he was just trying to get away. I don't think that, I don't think that driving away in fear justifies an officer pointing a handgun directly on the side, on the driver's side of this vehicle and shooting right into it," said Gwen Cordero, whose son was involved in the shooting.

    "I don't care what the State's Attorney's conclusion is, these officers are not innocent. Okay, they're not innocent. They murdered a young man, they shot at my son and his friend," Cordero added.

    According to the report, in 10 seconds, the officers fired 28 shots at a car with three men. They hit and killed the driver, 20-year-old Zoe Dowdell. An 18-year-old was also injured and a 15-year-old in the car was not hurt.

    The two teens were both charged in connection with the incident.

    The report said police were following the vehicle for its alleged involvement in several carjackings and robberies in the city.

    Video showed the seconds when police fired into the car after it didn't stop.

    Dowdell was shot four times in the head, neck and legs.

    New Britain Police said the five officers are still employed, but are on restricted duty while the department conducts an internal investigation.

    "The New Britain Police Department's own internal administrative investigation will proceed upon receipt and full review of the State Police investigation reports, in addition to the now released report of Fairfield State's Attorney's investigation," New Britain Police said in a statement released Saturday.

    "We just feel that the exoneration of all five officers, at least I do, was a little bit too much and when we looked at the videos of the shootings, that the force used was excessive," said Cornell Lewis, an activist representing two of the families whose children were involved in the shooting.

    New Britain Police said in the statement that since the external investigation is complete, they are working with the city attorneys for the full and immediate release of all additional information that is legally disclosable. 

    The Connecticut ACLU, which represents Dowdell's father, claims all the evidence hasn't been released.