We’re accused of being “cop haters” all the time, but we have good reason, I believe. It is the whole system that allows the behavior of bad cops and the good ones never speak out, so what is a liberty-loving person to do?
The police are the face of everything the government does that people do not like. If a new law is passed that you do not like and heavily disagree with, guess who is going to enforce that law and make you abide by it and frustrate and enrage you? A cop.
With all the power police have — and they get more and more every day — it is not surprising to think bad people would be attracted to the position, bad people like Dennis O’Connell of the New Haven, CT police force. Dennis is being investigated for alleged police brutality… for the ninth time.
Alvaro Garzon fled war-torn Columbia after receiving death threats for his human rights activism. Officer O’Connell responded a minor domestic disturbance case at Garzon’s home. After O’Connell arrested Alvaro, he proceeded to taze him several times and knee him in the neck, cutting off his breathing, all while in handcuffs.
This is not the first time O’Connell has been investigated, as previously mentioned. Matter of fact, O’Connell was actually found guilty of violating orders and regulations in one case. The case involved Dramese Fair, who accused O’Connell and two other officers of performing a strip search on him before sexually assaulting him on June 6, 2007. According to a report prepared by Sgt. Craig Guglielmo, Fair said that police arrested him without cause, maced him, and kicked him, and that Officer O’Connell dragged him down a flight of concrete steps and headbutted him. Back at the police station, O’Connell pulled down Fair’s pants and underwear and “puts his finger in my anal,” according to Fair.
O’Connell denied that he dragged Fair down the concrete steps, but another officer at the scene verified Fair’s claim. O’Connell was found guilty of violating eight General Orders, training bulletins, and departmental rules, all of which were related to the improper execution of a strip search. But the acting police chief at the time said, “There is no just cause for disciplinary action” — and no disciplinary action was taken. If only you and I could get away with that at our jobs.
He later was accused of abusing a man named Jonathan Avila on February 16, 2008. Avila told police that O’Connell took off his badge and entered his apartment, where he headbutted him, maced him, threw him into a glass shelf. O’Connell said Avila had threatened to kill him and someone had tried to take his gun, forcing him to punch Avila. O’Connell was exonerated.
Another man said O’Connell punched him in the face, maced him, choked him, threw him against a police car, and kicked him on April 30, 2007. O’Connell told the IA investigator that the man “just went crazy” when he tried to pat him down. The man tried to gouge his eyes out and tried to grab his gun, forcing him to punch him and mace him according to O’Connell. He was exonerated.
Abel Sanchez accused O’Connell of brutally beating him on Jan. 6, 2008. O’Connell told IA that Sanchez had been yelling and swinging his arms and refusing arrest. He was exonerated.
A woman accused O’Connell of verbally abusing and falsely arresting her on Jan. 1, 2008. She told police she was injured while being handcuffed. O’Connell told IA that the woman was uncooperative and refused to be arrested as part of a dispute involving an XBox 360 video game console. He was exonerated.
O’Connell’s problems aren’t just on the job either, his file indicates he was reprimanded and suspended after multiple motor vehicle accidents due to reckless driving. In 6 at-fault accidents from June 2001 to December 26, 2005, O’Connell was only suspended for one day.
As many claims as there are against O’Connell for brutality, he also claims it has happened to him as many times. Take a look at Internal Affairs files on O’Connell:
Though many people have claimed O’Connell has injured them, he has claimed to have been injured on the job even more times. The New Haven Independent gave a sampling of the following 12 cases he filed:
- June 29, 2009: Hand sprained trying to detain a suspect.
- Oct. 18, 2008: Back strained while escorting a drunk from a bar.
- Feb 11, 2005: Ankle cut in an altercation with a detainee.
- Apr. 20, 2006: Lacerations under right eye. Struck in face while making an arrest.
- Sept. 6, 2006: Back sprained making an arrest.
- Oct. 4, 2006: Hand fractured during arrest struggle.
- March 16, 2007: Hand injured during struggle with multiple suspects.
- Feb. 15, 2008: Shoulder and back sprained, blood in eyes and mouth. Fight with arrestee.
- March 16, 2007: Bite on hand from person being arrested.
- Feb. 22, 2004: Arm cut when arrestee bit forearm.
- Nov. 23, 2001: Arm sprained arresting a subject.
- May 6, 2001: Foot run over. Arms injured when diving through broken car window to grab a gun.
With all the power given to police these days, it shouldn’t come to anyone’s surprise that people like Dennis O’Connell are in the profession. They have all kinds of special treatment under the law and if they do beat up someone or commit a criminal offense, they get a slap on the wrist if punished at all.
There are good cops in the profession, but without competition in the protection industry, we may never know how many there are. Where are you going to go if you run into a department full of guys like Dennis O’Connell who clearly has an anger issue and a vendetta against Latin Americans?
You can choose not to pay for his services, but they will eventually get around to finding you and throwing you in a cage. What kind of customer service is that? If they do something you don’t like, you can’t really go somewhere else for protection.
You could always carry a gun for your own protection, but they can always get you for that too.
I work for a private security company and have a brother-in-law who is in Law Enforcement, I have heard stories from both sides and can tell you private is the way to go. A man like O’Connell would be out of a job after just one incident in the private sector, there is no way he would get nine re-do’s.
I’ve ran into men who get power trips in the private industry and can tell you first hand they are definitely hated by those they are hired to protect. No one runs around and attacks those who badmouth them. This is what happens in the government sector of protection.
The solution to all the problems with police is to place protection up to the marketplace, where guys like Officer O’Connell would never have made it this far and not been allowed to have so much authority over so many people. Clearly this man has anger issues and shows classic signs of racism, would you want this man to be able to arrest you for whatever he pleases and have no repercussions?
If protection is left up to the marketplace you would be free to choose another group of people to protect you if they continually let someone like this man keep his job and you had a problem with it.