HARTFORD – Hartford Judicial District State’s Attorney Gail Hardy today released reports in four unresolved cases of killings by police. David McGuire, executive director of the ACLU of Connecticut, had the following reaction:
“Four families have had to wait years for prosecutors to announce whether they would hold police accountable for killing their loved ones. It remains unconscionable that the Chief State’s Attorney and State’s Attorney Hardy neglected these victims of police violence for years and that prosecutors only released these reports after months of public pressure. More than promises to do better, Connecticut needs clear rules to prevent this from happening again. As these cases have shown, prosecutors hold people’s fates in their hands and cannot be left to operate without public oversight or accountability.”
State’s Attorney’s reports regarding police uses of deadly force typically summarize prosecutors’ reviews of evidence collected by law enforcement and include prosecutors’ decisions about whether to pursue criminal legal cases against police employees. They are not “exonerations” by a court of law nor indemnifications against civil rights claims, but instead reflect whether a prosecutor will or will not press criminal charges.
The open cases on Hardy’s docket were the police killings of: Joseph Bak in 2008, Taurean Wilson in 2009, Edmanuel Reyes in 2011, and Ernesto Morales in 2012. The open case that remains on Hardy’s docket is the April 2019 killing of Anthony Jose “Chulo” Vega Cruz by Wethersfield police employee Layau Eulizier.
A Hartford Courant review also found that Hardy took, on average, longer than other state’s attorneys to close cases of killings by police.