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Conn. ACLU Demands Release Of Documents In Enfield Police Brutality Cases

Enfield, Conn., Police Department via AP
This 2014 booking photo provided by the Enfield, Conn. Police Dept. shows Mark Maher, after his arrest by former Enfield officer Matthew Worden.

The ACLU of Connecticut is demanding access to information about police brutality settlements involving former Enfield Police Officer Matthew Worden.

Worden has had nine lawsuits filed against him. He has been accused of punching already subdued individuals in the face, using a stun gun on a man with a heart condition, striking a man in the groin with a baton, and smashing a man’s head into asphalt minutes after he was informed by the man’s mother that he had suffered a traumatic head injury.

Eight of the lawsuits were settled out of court, and Worden was originally fired, but town officials changed his termination to a resignation. Worden admitted no wrongdoing, and town officials have refused to release any information about the settlements, including payouts.

Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Commission ordered officials to release the records to the ACLU. The town’s attorney is appealing that order to Superior Court. They argue that the records are kept by the town insurer and are not public information. ACLU Legal Director Dan Barrett says the insurer is unimportant in this case and that releasing the documents is “a basic matter of transparency.”

Anthony Moaton is a former fellow at WSHU.