That’s Mark Maher, a resident of Windsor, CT. Well, that’s him after Enfield Police Officer Matthew Worden got done teaching him a lesson. Naturally, Maher was then charged with interfering with an officer, because his face got in the way of the officer’s energetic fist-bumps with the ground. I guess Officer Worden learned from the Sunil Dutta school of policing, whose core philosophy is ‘Obey me at all costs or I will break your face’.
Lucky for Maher, there were dashcams. Two of them. I can’t embed them because screw you Hartford Courant. But here’s dashcam one, which shows you just how annoyingly Maher kept getting in the way of Worden’s colloquial greeting to the pavement and here’s dashcam two, which prominently features “stop resisting”, today’s version of “stop hitting yourself”.
One video shows Worden searching Maher, who is loudly questioning why he wasn’t allowed to smoke and tells Worden several times: “If you want to arrest me, arrest me. Do what you gotta do.”
Worden can be heard yelling “Don’t … with me” as he is turning Maher around to handcuff him. Maher is taken to the ground by three officers. Worden can be seen on the second video, which has a better angle of the takedown, adjusting the glove on his right hand before punching Maher twice in the face.
When Maher raises his head slightly Worden can be seen punching him at least once more before placing his knee on the back of Maher’s head while the other two officers handcuff him.
Maher, naturally, filed notice of intent to sue the town and then his case quickly – and quietly – went from “set for trial” to “dismissed”.
As for Worden, of course, there were consequences. He’s on paid administrative leave and the Enfield Police Department, to their credit, investigated it as a crime, found probable cause for assault and submitted a warrant for third degree assault and fabricating evidence1 For those of us who’ve been complaining about consequence free police brutality, this is a refreshi-wait, hang on, we’re getting news from the field. What’s that Ollie? Oh.
Hartford State’s Attorney Gail Hardy rejected the warrant. Her letter rejecting the warrant is a masterclass in justification of abuse. I reproduce it in its majority, because the bullshit cannot be adequately conveyed in any other way:
In her letter rejecting the arrest warrant Hardy said the video “depicts many moving parts where it is extremely difficult to keep up with everything that is going on with all parties.”
Hardy said the video shows another person “slip” something to Maher which could be seen by the officers as threatening. The officers searched the other person and then Maher. Hardy said that as Maher was facing the hood Worden was trying to pat him down and at that point Maher was taken to the ground and there was a “pile-up.”
Hardy said the video shows Maher clearly continuing to resist arrest. Hardy acknowledges that Worden can be seen throwing punches but that the fact Worden claims he threw only two when the video shows he threw four is “factually insignificant.”
Hardy also concluded that it would be difficult for the state to prove that Worden intended to cause physical harm to Maher.
“Although the strikes could be considered unnecessary the use of force in this regard, was not more than that necessary and reasonable to bring Maher (who continued moving about while on the ground) into compliance,” Hardy wrote.
Of course. He moved. He twitched. He resisted. Ergo, the Law had the authoritah to beat the crap out of him.
Consequences? That’s not a word in Hardy’s dictionary.