Members of New Haven's Latino community approached NBC Connecticut with complaints about Officer Dennis O'Connell with the New Haven Police Department. Several people told us that they were being targeted by the officer, and when they encountered him, they were subjected to brutality which included beatings, verbal abuse, and in one case that we found what appeared to be repeated and potentially unnecessary use of a taser. We spoke with several of the alleged victims as a starting point for our story. From there, we embarked on a series of FOI requests that resulted in hundreds of pages of documents ranging from police reports of the alleged incidents to court settlements between the city of New Haven and alleged victims of Officer O'Connell. We spoke to an expert in criminal justice who, after reading through the police reports and reviewing Officer O'Connell's file, determined there was a definitive and disturbing pattern. He also determined that based on the lack of disciplinary measures and retraining of the officer, NHPD was ignoring a significant problem within their ranks.
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