Danbury Officer Fired Over Accusations of Excessive Force

A Danbury police officer accused of injuring a handcuffed suspect during an arrest over the summer has been fired.

Daniel Sellner, a 19-year veteran, and his partner, who also is being investigated for the Aug. 9 incident, arrested an unidentified man on multiple charges that were eventually reduced to trespass.

In a letter of termination Tuesday, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton wrote Sellner that the manner in which he led the suspect out of a store was an unnecessary act of force because he was already handcuffed and would not have escaped, The News-Times reported.

"I expect that all police officers act professionally, treat all persons with dignity and respect, (and) refrain from threatening persons with arrest or use of force simply because they appear to disrespect an officer," Boughton wrote. "Your actions and these violations indicate you are either unwilling or unable to carry out the duties of a police officer in accordance with the high standards expected of the Danbury Police Department."

Sellner had previously been suspended without pay for a week in 2013 for making a lewd comment to an elementary school teacher and had to go through retraining after misusing a stun gun on a motorist.

Sellner's lawyer, Norman Pattis, said an appeal could soon be submitted to the state Board of Mediation and Arbitration.

"The decision to dismiss this officer is outrageous," he said. "This was a garden-variety arrest."

Police Chief Al Baker would not describe the suspect's injuries, but said he was taken to the emergency room at Danbury Hospital.

Sellner is the second officer in as many years to be fired by Boughton for violating the Police Department's professional standards.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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