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Hartford Police officers being investigated for excessive force

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Ricardo Perez

Ricardo Perez

HARTFORD--Police have launched an excessive force investigation, through the State's Attorney's Office, following a stolen car chase a week and a half ago.

Command staff say the mug shot of Ricardo Perez, 34, raised red flags because his facial injuries were inconsistent with what would have been caused in the crash that ended the chase and led to his arrest. The June 4 crash occurred on Flatbush Avenue, just over the city line into West Hartford.

Perez is accused of driving a stolen car, fleeing from police, and injuring a detective by almost running him over. The police report claims officers had to use a Taser and punch Perez in the body to have him submit to being arrested.

Emilio Diaz

Emilio Diaz

However, police commanders say dash cam video from a West Hartford squad car appears to show an officer kicking or stomping on one of the suspects after he was already in handcuffs.

"The sad part here is we don't want it to impact all the good things that we do," Deputy Chief Brian Foley said.  "People need to understand that we're trying our best to get to the bottom of it."

Emilio Diaz, 38, was a passenger in the car.

Diaz's mug shot also shows head injuries, which the police report claims were "minor" scrapes, but appear to have required stitches.

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