Bridgeport Officer Found Not Guilty in Police Brutality Case - NBC Connecticut

Bridgeport Officer Found Not Guilty in Police Brutality Case

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    Bridgeport Officer Found Not Guilty in Police Brutality Case
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    Footage from a 2011 arrest at Beardsley Park in Bridgeport has been at the center of a police brutality case. Two of three officers involved pleaded guilty, but a jury found Officer Clive Higgens not guilty.

    A Bridgeport officer was acquitted of police brutality charges Wednesday, according to a spokesperson for the U.S. attorney's office.

    Officer Clive Higgins had been charged with violating the civil rights of suspect Orlando Lopez-Soto in 2011, after video surfaced showing officers using a stun gun on Lopez-Soto, then kicking and stomping him as he lay motionless.

    A federal jury found Higgins not guilty. A conviction would have sent him to prison for as many as 10 years.

    "We respect the jury's verdict and the criminal justice process," Tom Carson, a spokesperson for the U.S. attorney's office, said in a statement Wednesday evening. "Our office will continue to prioritize civil rights investigations. We thank the FBI and the prosecutors for their hard work on this case."

    Higgins was one of three Bridgeport officers at the center of an internal investigation after an officer was shown on video using a stun gun on Lopez-Soto during an arrest at Beardsley Park in 2011.

    The video shows Lopez-Soto lying on the ground motionless as two officers kicked and stomped on him. The footage was upload to YouTube two years later and quickly went viral.

    Two of the three officers captured in the video pleaded guilty in June to depriving Lopez-Soto of his civil rights. Higgins pleaded not guilty. His name was cleared Wednesday in federal court.

    Meanwhile, Lopez-Soto is serving five years in prison after pleading guilty to drug and gun-related charges in 2012.

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