Former Meriden Police Captain Sues Department and City After Being Fired For Testifying Against Police Chief’s Son

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A former police captain in Meriden has filed a lawsuit against the department and city, saying he was fired as retaliation after he testified about a video in a police brutality case against the police chief’s son.

The brutality case led to the police chief’s son being convicted of a federal offense, reported Fox 61.

Patrick Gaynor, the former police captain, had worked for the police department for 20 years before being ousted for reporting illegal activity by another officer.

The complaint explains Gaynor held several positions and worked his way up to captain. In 2010, Gaynor discovered the video of the brutality and chose to do the right thing, and reported it.

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The video showed Officer Evan Cossette, the police chief’s son, assaulting his prisoner.

“You can see him rushing into the cell and going after the guy. It’s really awful because he’s helpless,” said Attorney John Williams.

It led to a federal criminal prosecution of Cossette where he was tried before a jury. Gaynor testified as a witness in the trial where ultimately, Cossette was convicted and sentenced to prison.

“An officer beating up a prisoner in a locked cell. He did his duty, he disclosed that video,” added Williams.

After the conviction, things began to change quickly, “There was a pattern of retaliation that began,” said Gaynor.

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In September 2016, Gaynor was told he would be placed on administrative leave. Gaynor handed over his gun, badge, ID card, keys and department vehicle.

Two months later, Gaynor returned to work but was placed on administrative leave again in December. He remained on leave until his employment was terminated in June 2017.

Gaynor was 1 of only 8 public safety officials in the country to be selected by President Barack Obama to serve on the Medal of Valor Committee.

“Well, it’s a devastating experience to lose a career like this and to lose a career of this kind because you testified in a federal criminal court trial on behalf of the prosecution,” added Williams.

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Attorney John Williams said the chief is now trying to take away Gaynor’s certification so he cannot find another job at other police departments.

 

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