Former Hartford police sergeant convicted of improper use of force

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HARTFORD --  A retired Hartford police sergeant was convicted Thursday of assault for his use of force against a man involved in a confrontation with officers following a 2016 pursuit.

State police said Sean Spell, 46, of East Hartford has been charged with one count of assault in the third degree.

Spell received a one-year suspended jail sentence and will be on probation for two years. He must also perform 25 hours of community service while on probation.

The charges against Spell stem from an incident where dash cam video showed Spell kicking passenger Emilio Diaz in the back of the head on June 4.

Spell and roughly 30 other officers from Hartford, West Hartford and state police responded to a car chase around 9 p.m. on June 4 that started in Hartford and ended in West Hartford.

According to police, both the driver, Ricardo Perez, and Diaz, violently resisted arrest. An arrest warrant states that Spell kicked Diaz in the head, who was already handcuffed and kneeling on the ground.

In December 2016, Spell was arraigned in court on charges of assault and breach of peace.