On Tuesday, NBC Connecticut got a first look at a deadly police raid that killed an unarmed man in Easton nearly five years ago. The family of the man who died just settled a multi-million dollar lawsuit. It said police were completely unreasonable with their response that day, and there was no need for deadly force.
The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters obtained police video that showed officers drive up to a home on Dogwood Drive in Easton in March 2008. The SWAT team could be heard throwing several flash bangs” through the windows. Then there was the sound of multiple gunshots. Gonzalo Guizan was killed after he was shot multiple times.
Neighbors told NBC Connecticut police went way too far. “This was overkill,” said Drew Clark.
Guizan’s family just settled a lawsuit with five towns police responded from. It said he was at his friends home that afternoon, and someone called police because they were supposedly smoking crack cocaine inside.
A SWAT team was sent to search the place, even though there was no history of violent crime there. “It looked like the Russian army had approached,” Clark described.
The suit claimed police never announced they were there. They supposedly threw in explosives with no warning, and broke down the door.
This allegedly happened while Gonzalo Guizan and his friend Rob Terebesi watched television. Documents showed the two crouched down so they did not get hit with glass. That’s when an officer apparently stormed in and opened fire.
Guizan was shot at least six times, but the suit said he and Terebesi had no weapons. Neighbors questioned if excessive force was used. “Based on what I saw...yeah,” Clark added.
Investigators ruled the shooting was justified, but it was a raid that cost five towns more than $3,000,000.
None of those towns would comment on the lawsuit. Rob Terebesi is also suing, but he would not comment either, his lawyer said it was still in litigation.