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$198,000 Settlement in Officers’ Excessive Force upon Connecticut Man

The City of Bridgeport, Connecticut paid a $198,000 to settle a civil rights action claiming police officers used excessive force during the May 20, 2011, arrest of Orlando Lopez.

Lopez led police on a high speed chase after they tried to initiate a traffic stop upon the van he was driving.  When his van became stuck in grass at a park, Lopez exited his vehicle, jumped on the hood of the police car, and ran.  After pursuing and catching Lopez, a struggle between him and police ensued.

A video showed Lopez being tased and falling to the ground.  Officers Joseph Lawlor and Wilson Morales ran up to him and began kicking and stomping him.  Upon arrival at the scene, Officer Clive Huggins leaned on Morales for support and kicked Lopez.

Lopez did not suffer major injuries, but on June 5, 2014, The City of Bridgeport agreed to settle his civil rights action for $198,000. Lopez was represented by attorney Robert M. Berke.

The FBI investigated the matter, and the three officers resigned from their jobs and were charged criminally.  A weapon and narcotics were found in Lopez’s van after the incident; he received a five year prison term for those charges and for failure to appear in court.

See: Lopez v. Morales, USDC, D. Connecticut, Case No 3:13-cv-00127.

Additional source:  The Connecticut Post

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Related legal case

Lopez v. Morales