NEW BRITAIN-- In the rain, surrounded by police officers, and in a parking lot on the street where her son was shot at by five different police officers in December 2017, Noah Young’s mother spoke out.
Newly released New Britain Police dash cam footage shows the night when officers tried to pull over a blue Toyota Paseo. Police had been trying to catch the vehicle, suspected of being involved in a string of increasingly violent of carjackings and robberies. Police had the car description and New Hampshire license plate number to work off of when they sent extra patrols out on December 14, 2017 to search for the vehicle.
"What it looks like was that Zoe was trying just to get away. I didn’t see where any of these officers were in any danger," said Gwen Cordero, Noah Young's mother.
Dash cam video shows the driver of the car, 20 year old Zoe Dowdell, backing away as the New Britain police car drives towards him. Moments later police come from the other side of the car with their guns out. As the car drives away, officers shoot at the car, killing Dowdell with shots to his head neck hand and thighs.
The two other people in the car, 18 year old Noah Young and 15 year old Caleb Tisdol were also hit, but recovered from their injuries. They are now 19 and 16, respectively.
A newly released report by the state’s attorney’s office exonerated the police officers of any charges of excessive force. Noah’s mother, Gwen, said the report doesn’t tell what actually happened.
"I saw a young man who was scared and he was just trying to get away," said Cordero. "I don’t think that driving away in fear justifies an officer pointing a handgun directly on the driver's side of this vehicle and shooting right into it."
The report said there was no wrongdoing by any of the five officers, who were using self defense or stopping the car filled with three people they believed were violent felons, who were a danger to the community. The two passengers, Tisdol and Young were arrested. Young’s mother, says he is traumatized.
"He is traumatized and since the release of these videos his anxiety has been on 10," said Corero. "It just keeps bringing up all of these emotions for him. My son is 18 years old."
Tisdol is charged with assault and 6 robberies. Young is charged with carjacking and robbery. Police found narcotics on them and two guns in the car. Gwen and community activist Cornell Lewis, who called the press to meet with them where the shooting happened, didn’t want to comment about those charges.
"That’s on public records, which you guys can look up," said Cordero.
Lewis said that even if the people in the car were dangerous- police didn’t have a right to shoot.
"Nobody is shooting into the car at [police]. [Police] shoot into the car. There is still no shots coming out and then [police] continue to shoot," said Lewis. "For me and for Gwen and for other people, it was a horrific scene."
The entire incident happened in a matter of seconds. Police fired a total of 28 rounds. Tisdol’s father, William, was supposed to be at the press conference, but said he was in too much shock to appear. He told reporters on the phone he is outraged by the outcome of the investigation.
The city is still going to do a private internal investigation to see whether any of those five police officers broke any city policies. The New Britain police department is also continuing their own internal investigation.