Herald's request for shooting video denied

Published on Saturday, 30 December 2017 22:16
Written by LISA BACKUS


NEW BRITAIN - City officials have denied The Herald’s request to review video records related to a police shooting in which a suspect was killed.

State police have said the three robbery suspects involved drove their car at New Britain officers while attempting to escape arrest Dec. 14.

One of the suspects, 20-year-old Zoe Dowdell, an aspiring rapper known as Gangstalicious, died. A 15-year-old was also injured and 18-year-old Noah Young, of Bloomfield, was grazed by a bullet.

The three were considered suspects in four city robberies in recent weeks. In one robbery, a suspect fired a gun at the car as the intended victim fled. Within the same hour, a second victim was pistol-whipped during a separate robbery.

Police said they believe the green Toyota Paseo that Dowdell was driving the evening of Dec. 14 was involved in the robberies. Officers spotted the Paseo in the area of Chapman Street and boxed the car in. Young told state police that the three had bought heroin in New Britain and didn’t want to be arrested, so they tried to flee.

State police said the New Britain officers were outside their vehicles with guns drawn when the Paseo began heading toward them, “causing them to fire their weapons.” Five New Britain officers fired their guns during the incident. State police, who are conducting the criminal investigation into the shooting, have not released any information on which officers fired the shots that hit the suspects.

By state law, the investigation into the use of force was turned over to a state’s attorney from a different jurisdiction, in this case Middlesex State’s Attorney Peter McShane. At McShane’s instruction, city attorneys have not released any information, 911 calls or videos related to the robberies or the shootings. City Corporation Counsel Gennaro Bizzarro on Friday formally denied The Herald’s Freedom of Information request to review any video recordings of the shootings and the 911 recordings of the robberies.

“The Office of Corporation Counsel has consulted with Attorney McShane regarding the subject matter of your Freedom of Information request and has been advised that the release of any documents, including 911 calls, radio communications and dash cam videos would be prejudicial to his pending investigation,” Bizzarro said.

David McGuire, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut, called for the release of any video the day after the shootings. McShane was not available for comment Friday.

Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com.

Posted in New Britain Herald, New Britain on Saturday, 30 December 2017 22:16. Updated: Saturday, 30 December 2017 22:18.