United States District Court, D. Connecticut
INITIAL REVIEW ORDER
Jeffrey Alker Meyer United States District Judge.
Shawn Milner is a prisoner of the Connecticut Department of
Correction. He has filed this federal action principally
alleging that he was subject to the use of excessive force by
numerous police officers in Bristol, Connecticut. In
accordance with the initial review requirements of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1915A, I have reviewed his complaint and will allow it
to proceed in part as to some of the named defendants.
complaint names the following defendants: the City of
Bristol, the Bristol Police Department, and numerous Bristol
police officials including Lieutenant Geoffrey Lund, Sergeant
Rodney Gotowala, Officers Mark Kichar, Podlesney, Dustin
DeMonte, Marino, and Jason Kasparian. See Doc. #1 at
10-11 (¶¶ 4-7) & at 14 (¶
following facts are assumed to be true solely for purposes of
my initial evaluation of the adequacy of the allegations in
the complaint. On April 11, 2018, Milner was traveling in the
passenger seat of his fiancée's car when Officer
Kichar pulled up behind the vehicle and without probable
cause signaled Milner's fiancée to pull the car to
the side of the road. Id. at 12 (¶ 10). After
the vehicle stopped, Officer Kichar approached the passenger
side of the vehicle and ordered Milner to get out.
Id. (¶ 10). Officer Kichar attempted to grab
Milner “in an extremely aggressive manner.”
Id. (¶ 11). Milner feared for his safety and
attempted to “create some distance between
himself” and Officer Kichar. Id.
point, another police vehicle driven by Officer Podlesney hit
Milner and knocked him to the ground. Id. As he lay
face down on the ground, Officers Kichar and Podlesney
climbed on Milner's back and pinned his hands underneath
him. Id. (¶ 12). Both officers began to strike
Milner over the head repeatedly. Id. Officer DeMonte
struck Milner on the back, and Officer Marino struck Milner
on his legs multiple times before applying handcuffs to his
wrists. Id. at 12-13 (¶ 12). After he was
handcuffed, the four officers hit him several more times in
the head. Id. at 13 (¶ 13). During the
incident, Officers Kichar and Podlesney injured their hands.
Id. at 16 (¶ 24).
began to feel light headed and dizzy, and his vision became
blurry. Id. at 13 (¶ 13). He recognized these
symptoms as a sign that he was going to have a seizure.
Id. He attempted to inform the officers at the scene
about the possibility that he might have a seizure, but they
told him to be quiet and put him in the back of a police car.
Id. A short time later, Milner lost consciousness
and suffered a “violent tonic clonic seizure.”
Id. (¶ 14). An ambulance transported Milner to
Bristol Hospital for treatment of injuries that he had
sustained to his chin, face, back, head and right arm.
alleges that he did not attempt to resist arrest and did not
strike or fight the officers at the scene of his arrest.
Id. (¶ 15). He claims that Officer Kasparian
tried to justify the officers' brutal attack on him by
writing an incident report falsely stating that Milner had
fought with Officers Kichar and Podlesney. Id. at
13-14 (¶ 15).
reviewing falsified reports written by Officers Kichar,
Podlesney, DeMonte, and Kasparian, Sergeant Gotowala and
Lieutenant Lund failed to reprimand them or otherwise remedy
the situation; instead, they conspired to cover up their
subordinates' misdeeds rather than redress them.
Id. at 14 (¶¶ 16-17).
City of Bristol did not attempt to prosecute the officers who
used excessive force against Milner. Id. at 15
(¶ 20). The Mayor of Bristol made a statement to the
media indicating that she would investigate the force used by
the Bristol police officers against Milner, but never engaged
in an investigation. Id. (¶ 21).
to 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, the Court must review a
prisoner's civil complaint against a governmental entity
or governmental actors and “identify cognizable claims
or dismiss the complaint, or any portion of the complaint, if
the complaint (1) is frivolous, malicious, or fails to state
a claim upon which relief may be granted; or (2) seeks
monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such
relief.” If the prisoner is proceeding pro se,
the allegations of the complaint must be read liberally to
raise the strongest arguments that they suggest. See
Tracy v. Freshwater, 623 F.3d 90, 101-02 (2d Cir.
Fourth Amendment protects the rights of the people “to
be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,
against unreasonable searches and seizures.” U.S.
Const., amend. IV. Because the Fourth Amendment protects
against unreasonable seizures, it has long been recognized
that the Fourth Amendment is violated when the police use
excessive force against a free person for the purpose ...