Connecticut inspector general suggests police use-of-force law should be changed after chokehold arrest

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An off-duty trooper was justified in using a chokehold to get a suspect to release a trooper that was already in one — and the law should be changed to specifically allow that, according to a report released Wednesday from the Connecticut Office of the Inspector General.
Last May, troopers were chasing Ira Turner on Interstate 91 at speeds of up to 95 mph after hearing that he’d violated a restraining order and had two children in a car, according to the report. Turner was eventually stopped on the Exit 15 offramp in Wallingford. During the chase, he allegedly tried driving the wrong way up a ramp.

The trooper who placed Turner in the chokehold was off duty at the time, and responded to the scene after hearing about the chase.

Bodycam video shows Turner being tackled to the ground and then struggling with troopers, including hitting one in the face. The camera appears to have been knocked off at the beginning of the altercation, and most of the struggle appears partially off-camera.

Turner briefly lost consciousness, and then regained it when he was taken to the ground, according to the report. He then continued to fight troopers.

Turner was taken to the hospital for testing, where he was found to not have any physical injuries, and was released the next day. A photo included in the report shows that a trooper’s face was cut.

The report ruled that the use of deadly force “was objectively reasonable and reasonably necessary” to defend the other trooper.

“As writen [stet], the statute would permit a trooper to shoot a suspect to defend a third party, but not permit the trooper to apply a chokehold,” the report reads. “It is hard to imagine that the legislature intended such a result.”

The report adds that “clarification of the statute by the legislature seems warranted.”

Turner was charged with second-degree kidnapping, violation of a protective order and other charges.

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