Members of the NAACP and the ACLU gathered at the East Hartford Police Department on Tuesday to express concern about the death of Jose Maldonado, 22, who died this weekend after being shot with a stun gun inside the department.
"Since 2004, 14 people have died after being tased, ten of which were black or Latino," said David McGuire, an attorney with the ACLU. "That’s 71 percent, so that’s a big racial disparity here and there’s absolutely no oversight of Taser use in Connecticut."
They’re requesting a meeting with the chief of police to discuss what happened and ways to avoid a similar incident in the future. They also want the surveillance video of the booking area where Maldonado was when he was shot with the stun gun.
"Hopefully that will shed some light on this unfortunate incident," said McGuire.
Maldonado was arrested early Sunday morning, after police were called to Nutmeg Lane for a dispute.
According to police, Maldonado had damaged a vehicle at the complex and he fought with officers who tried to take him into custody.
Authorities say he continued to be combative and refused to comply with officers while he was being processed at the East Hartford Police Department. That’s when Officer Jason Kaplan used his taser to subdue Maldonado.
"All the facts and circumstances will be contained in that report," said State Police Lt. Paul Vance.
Lt. Paul Vance said state police are investigating the use of force by Kaplan, who is still on duty. State Police detectives will interview witnesses and go over evidence, as well as get a cause of death from the medical examiner’s office. It’s currently pending further study, according to the medical examiner's office.
After the information is compiled, it will be sent to the state's attorney's office for an independent review on the use of force in this case.
Vance added that law enforcement officers are trained on use of force and what instruments to use.