New Britain department's internal report on fatal police shooting released

Published on Friday, 8 February 2019 19:57
Written by Charles Paullin


NEW BRITAIN – The internal investigation by the New Britain Police Department into the actions of its officers on the night that 20-year-old Zoe Dowdell was shot to death concluded no policies were violated, but that more officer training was needed.

Those findings were reported by the Hartford Courant Friday afternoon after the newspaper submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the city and acting Police Chief Chris Chute.

The Herald was told by city attorney Joseph Skelly that the documents will be available Monday morning.

Activist Cornell Lewis, who has organized rallies outside New Britain police headquarters and downtown said, “Even though this was an internal investigation that cleared five officers, there are some things that we see that are flawed within the New Britain Police Department.”

Chute said the New Britain Police Department has been updating its procedures to reflect best practices recognized by law enforcement around the nation.

“Those best practices will constantly evolve based on national trends and our department will continue to train our staff to meet those standards,” Chute said in an emailed statement.

A 13-month investigation by the Fairfield State’s Attorney John Smriga released last month said the officers were justified in shooting at Dowdell, Caleb Tisdol and Noah Young who were suspects in several crimes.

A rally with “intensified tactics” is being discussed Lewis said, declining to provide further details.

Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, General News on Friday, 8 February 2019 19:57. Updated: Friday, 8 February 2019 19:59.