Hartford Officer Accused Of Beating Prisoner Is Arrested
December 11, 2009
HARTFORD — - City police Officer Rhashim Campbell, one of two officers accused of beating a prisoner at headquarters Nov. 1, was arrested Thursday.Campbell, 30, was charged with third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, and a felony charge of fabricating evidence, police said. Police say he also faces administrative charges at the department.
An arrest warrant application for the second officer, identified by sources as Kent Lee, was declined by the Office of the Chief State's Attorney.
The warrant for Campbell was not available late Thursday. His attorney, Salvatore Bonanno, said he had not seen the warrant, but said the fabricating evidence charge "relates to the police report."
Bonanno said Campbell turned himself in to police Thursday. Because of the felony count, Campbell has been suspended without pay.
Police Chief Daryl K. Roberts didn't just single out Campbell as he criticized the actions of his officers.
"We take the care of persons in our custody very seriously," Roberts said in a statement. "The inappropriate acts of these officers are not representative of the dedicated and professional officers of the Hartford Police Department."
Police said that the prisoner, Michael Stewart, struck and bit Campbell Nov. 1 after flooding his cell and pushing police officers. Campbell and Lee then allegedly assaulted the prisoner, sources have said. The alleged assault was captured by video cameras.
Roberts said on Nov. 12 that he planned to apply for two arrest warrants in the case. No action was taken on the arrest warrant applications until Thursday — nearly a month later — after a prosecutor and judge approved Campbell's arrest.
Lee filed for retirement after the alleged incident took place.
Stewart's attorney, Peter Odlum, said that he has yet to see the video and therefore declined to comment in detail.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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