The Latest: Troopers exonerated in protester confrontation
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Latest on an internal affairs investigation of three Connecticut state troopers accused of retaliating against a sobriety checkpoint protester by arresting him on bogus criminal charges (all times local):
A Connecticut state police internal affairs investigation has cleared a trooper and two sergeants of any wrongdoing in connection with allegations they retaliated against a sobriety checkpoint protester by arresting him on bogus criminal charges.
A state police union attorney disclosed the investigation results Tuesday during a proceeding before a hearing officer of the state Freedom of Information Commission.
The hearing officer was to hold a hearing on a complaint by The Associated Press and Journal Inquirer that state police were improperly refusing to release the internal affairs investigation report. But state police lawyers settled the complaint just before the hearing by agreeing to release the report.
Protester Michael Picard is suing the three officers over the 2015 encounter in West Hartford. The charges against him ended up being dismissed.
Connecticut officials are set to hear arguments on whether state police can refuse to say whether a trooper and two sergeants were disciplined on allegations they retaliated against a protester at a sobriety checkpoint by arresting him on bogus criminal charges.
State police rejected requests made under Connecticut’s public records laws earlier this year by The Associated Press and the Journal Inquirer for copies of the internal affairs investigation reports as well as the results of the probe.
The AP and the newspaper appealed to the Freedom of Information Commission, which scheduled a hearing for Tuesday.
The investigation centered on the 2015 encounter in West Hartford between protester Michael Picard and the officers. The officers wrote Picard infraction tickets, but the state later dismissed the charges.