On Dec. 8, recently retired Hartford police officer Sean Spell was arrested and charged with excessive force for his actions last summer. On June 4, police dashboard cameras recorded Spell kicking Emilio Diaz in the head as Diaz lay prone and handcuffed after a high-speed chase. Diaz was already injured when this occurred; Spell himself claimed he kicked Diaz to stop him from spitting blood.
But by the time the public learned all this, Spell, 46, had retired with an annual pension of $129,000 from the city. The State’s Attorney’s Office blocked release of the police tapes of the incident until October, despite requests from both Hartford and West Hartford. The delays increased public anger by combining police abuse with withholding information.
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