United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. §
Jeffrey Alker Meyer United States District Judge
Velmon Braswell was confined at the Northern Correctional
Institution as a pre-trial detainee. He has filed a complaint
pro se and in forma pauperis under 42
U.S.C. § 1983, alleging, in essence, that defendants
used excessive force against him while he was detained
awaiting trial, thereby violating his rights under the First,
Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. After an
initial review pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, I conclude
that plaintiff's complaint should go forward against all
defendants on his Fourteenth Amendment excessive force claim
and equal protection claims, and should be dismissed as to
plaintiff's other claims.
names nine defendants: Lieutenants Bujnicki and Porylo and
Correctional Officers Jasion, Caron, Kidd, Piscottano,
Boudreau, Titus, and McCarthy, all of whom work at Northern
Correctional Institution. All defendants are named in their
individual capacities only. Doc. #1 at 1; Doc. #14 at 2-3.
following allegations from plaintiff's complaint are
accepted as true only for purposes of the Court's initial
review. At all times relevant to this complaint, plaintiff
was a pretrial detainee. Doc. #1 at 6 (¶ 14).
2016, plaintiff was transferred to Northern Correctional
Institution. Id. at ¶ 18. Upon his arrival, the
medical department issued plaintiff a medical pass.
Id. at 14 (¶ 64). Plaintiff was suffering from
chronic pain and had been prescribed Tylenol. Id. at
7 (¶ 19).
weeks after plaintiff was transferred, he was awoken while
sleeping in his cell by a correctional officer and told to
provide his ID number. Plaintiff put his ID card in the cell
window and returned to bed. Defendant McCarthy issued
plaintiff a false disciplinary report. Ibid. As a
result, more correctional officers came to his cell and told
plaintiff that he was going to restrictive housing. Plaintiff
asked that he be handcuffed with his hands in front. He
stated that he had a medical pass because he had medical
issues with his hand, arm, and shoulder. Defendant Bujnicki
said that plaintiff's medical pass meant nothing.
Although defendant McCarthy threatened him, plaintiff was
handcuffed in front without issue. Id. at 7
(¶¶ 20-21). On the way to restrictive housing,
plaintiff and defendant Bujnicki “had some words”
after plaintiff asked the officers to watch out for his
shoulder because he had medical issues and chronic pain.
Id. at ¶ 22.
plaintiff entered the restrictive housing unit and faced the
wall, defendant Caron twisted plaintiff's left arm.
Plaintiff said that defendant Caron was hurting him and asked
defendant Caron to stop. Defendant Caron would not listen.
Defendant Titus then pulled plaintiff's underwear.
Id. at 8 (¶ 24). Defendant Bujnicki stated that
plaintiff was not being compliant and ordered defendants
Caron, Jasion, Titus, and others to perform a hands-on strip
search. Id. at ¶ 25.
Titus hurt plaintiff by pulling off his knee braces.
Plaintiff made his displeasure known and informed defendants
that he had problems with his shoulder, hand, arm, back, hip,
and knee. Id. at ¶¶ 25-26. Defendants
Caron, Jasion, Titus, and other unnamed correctional staff
stripped off plaintiff's clothes as well as his knee,
hip, and back braces, causing him severe pain in the process.
Id. at ¶ 27. Plaintiff was held up by his arms
and shoulders while defendants Caron and Jasion twisted
plaintiff's left side. Id. at ¶ 28.
told defendants that his back, hip, and knee issues prevented
him from bending over without holding the wall for support.
Defendant Bujnicki and others forced him to bend over without
support. Id. at 8-9 (¶¶ 29-30).
Defendants' actions caused injuries to plaintiff's
left hand, arm, and shoulder as well as to his left knee and
hip and his back. Id. at 9 (¶ 32).
days after this first incident, plaintiff again showed staff
his medical card when they were attempting to handcuff
Id. at 11 (¶¶ 43-44). He was told that the
card was no good at Northern Correctional Institution.
Ibid. Defendant Kidd took the medical card and, at
plaintiff's request, called a supervisor. Defendant
Porylo, a Lieutenant, came to the shower area where plaintiff
was at the time, and plaintiff requested to be handcuffed
with his hands in front of his body due to his medical needs.
Id. at ¶¶ 45-46. Defendant Porylo ignored
plaintiff's medical pass and ordered plaintiff handcuffed
with his hands behind his back. Plaintiff complied but
experienced severe pain. Id. at ¶ 47.
was taken into a cell and pushed up against the wall.
Id. at 12 (¶ 49). With two unidentified
correctional officers holding plaintiff's arms, defendant
Jasion removed the handcuffs and pulled plaintiff's
underwear down to his ankles. Id. at ¶¶
50-51. Then defendant Jasion pulled plaintiff's underwear
“very hard in a upw[ar]d motion hurting plaintiff
testicles.” Id. at ¶ 52. Defendant Jasion
also forced plaintiff to bend over again. Id. at 13
Porylo then ordered plaintiff handcuffed in front and ordered
defendants Jasion, Kidd, and Piscottano to put plaintiff on
the bed in the cell. Id. at ¶ 56. Plaintiff was
slammed and pushed onto the bed, causing him severe pain.
Although he complained about pain, defendants did not stop.
Id. at ¶¶ 57-58. Defendant Porylo ordered
the other defendants to hold plaintiff down so other
defendants, including defendant Boudreau, could jump on him.
Id. at ¶ 58. Defendant Piscottano kneed
plaintiff in his testicles. Defendant Porylo refused
plaintiff's requests to call the police. Id. at
13-14 (¶¶ 59-60). Defendant Kidd continued to hold
down plaintiff's left shoulder, causing plaintiff pain
and difficulty breathing. Ibid.
abuse by defendants left plaintiff unable to stand.
Id. at 14 (¶ 61). He was taken to the medical
unit in a wheelchair, where he was placed on a medical ...