Prosecutor suspended for inaction on police shooting probes

Prosecutor suspended for inaction on police shooting probes

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A top prosecutor is being suspended over yearslong delays on investigations into four fatal shootings by police officers, a Connecticut justice panel decided Thursday in a unanimous and unprecedented move.

It was only in December that Hartford State’s Attorney Gail Hardy announced she had determined all four shootings, in cases dating as far back as 2008, were justified, following reports by The Hartford Courant that the investigations had not been completed.

State Supreme Court Justice Andrew McDonald, chairman of the state Criminal Justice Commission, said Hardy agreed to the suspension of four days without pay — the first known suspension of a Connecticut state’s attorney.

McDonald called Hardy’s failure to complete the reports in a timely matter a “serious dereliction of duty” and “inexcusable.”

A message seeking comment was left for Hardy on Thursday.

Hardy apologized last year for the long delays in completing the reports.

“I again wish to extend my condolences to the families of the deceased for the loss of their loved ones and my deepest apologies for the time that it has taken to complete these reports,” Hardy said. “I am also publicly committing myself to the timely completion of all such investigations in the future.”

Hardy also apologized to police officers involved in the cases who had to wait for the formal reports.

Hardy’s current term expires at the end of the month, and the commission will decide whether she should be reappointed.

The four reports in question involved the the deaths of Ernesto Morales in Hartford on July 11, 2012; Edmanuel Reyes in Manchester on May 19, 2011; Taurean Wilson in East Hartford on Jan. 1, 2009; and Joseph Bak in Hartford on March 3, 2008.

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