Police Abuse

Ct. Police Department Trying to Do Right, Terminates Cop Involved in Beating That State's Attorney Refused to Handle

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Mark Maher booking photo
Enfield PD

In late July police officers in Enfield, Ct. wanted to arrest one of their own, Matthew Worden, and charge him with assault and fabricating evidence related to his beating a man, Mark Maher, he claimed was resisting arrest (on charges eventually dropped). Although the incident was caught on dashcam, the state's attorney rejected the department's request for an arrest warrant against Worden because the video was "extremely difficult to keep up with." You can watch the video here.

Neverthleess, the police investigation into the incident, at the town's April boat launch, continued, and last week Worden was fired. The Hartford Courant reports:

"The police department conducted a very fair, thorough, exhaustive investigation and we believe the proper conclusion—the termination of Officer Worden—has been reached in this case," Sferrazza said.

The chief said the internal affairs report was reviewed by two captains and Deputy Chief Gary Collins who all agreed that Worden should be fired. Sferrazza said he also agreed that Worden needed to be fired for his actions on April 1.

Sferrazza said that he doesn't want Worden's actions to taint the entire department.

"We have 99 sworn police officers who responded to 50,000 calls last year alone and we have had only 16 citizens complaints in the past three years," Sferrazza said. "I would ask that residents of the community not allow this unprecedented incident to overshadow the fine work done by the men and women of our department."

Worden had been the target of 14 complaints in the last seven years, and has one more investigation pending. The city of Enfield has recieved eight notices of intent to sue based on accusations against the cop. Worden can appeal the decision to a labor board, according to Sferraza, who confirmed to us that as far as the department was concerned Worden was terminated.

Two other cops were suspended for their role in the incident, helping Worden. One of them signed a "last chance" agreement that means he'll be fired and forfeit his right to appeal termination if an internal investigation upholds another claim of police brutality against him in the next five years.

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  1. I’m guessing there’s something else about Worden that makes him a pariah in that department that they’re actually trying to rid themselves so hard of him.

    1. Or Mark Maher is something special somehow and firing Worden is really the easiest course of action.

      :-/

      I really wish I wasn’t so cynical about this shit… *sigh*

      1. There’s got to be a point where a chief of police is just sick of getting woken up in the middle of the night to deal with this shit.

  2. IS THAT SO FUCKING HARD?

    /rhetorical question directed at every other PD dept in America

    1. IS THAT SO FUCKING HARD?

      Worden can appeal the decision to a labor board

      Thanks to the special protections they get from their unions, yes, it is.

      1. Cue dumphy to defend this as right and good and due process, yada yada hth.

        1. wheres my smooches bitch?

  3. I realize this is all about a potential lawsuit but really. Are there any attorney generals who are wretched pricks?

    1. Ima say you meant aren’t.

      1. Look how successfully AJB’s confused any libel issues.

      2. Yes Aren’t. Thanks:)

  4. Worden can appeal the decision to a labor board,

    Which will conclude that since no charges were brought, he should have his job back. With back pay. And damages.

    And this will circle around so that the DA defends her decision by saying that, hey, the labor board didn’t even think he should be fired, so why should I prosecute him?

  5. One of them signed a “last chance” agreement that means he’ll be fired and forfeit his right to appeal termination if an internal investigation upholds another claim of police brutality against him in the next five years.

    I marvel at the idea that any cop would keep his job after any finding that he engaged in police brutality.

    What’s especially nice about this agreement is that it essentially says that cops are allowed to commit brutality without getting fired, so long as they don’t do it too often.

    1. To take an example from a previous line of work: let’s say a power plant control room operator accidentally does something that results in a generating unit tripping off line, incurring some equipment damage, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in startup costs. Eh, do a root cause analysis, some retraining, and put him back on the job.

      Now let’s say another operator repeatedly walks over, flips up the safety cover on the “UNIT TRIP” switch, looks around, and with a flourish mashes his hand down on the button. Repeatedly. Fourteen times in seven years.

      1. I agree with this take. Screwing up one time in the heat of the moment shouldn’t necessarily ruin your career. Having a bad day and shoving some drunk around more than you should because he mouths off is different than shaking your fist in a mentally ill homeless man’s face and saying “this is going to mess you up” immediately before you and 5 of your buddies beat him to death.

        One might be redeemable with some additional training and appropriate threats of termination. The other should be going directly to jail without passing GO and collecting $200.

        But it doesn’t seem to work that way, does it?

        1. Screwing up one time in the heat of the moment shouldn’t necessarily ruin your career.

          In principle, sure.

          But let’s not lose sight of what happens when a cop screws up in the heat of the moment:

          At a minimum, somebody gets the shit beat of them, and generally gets something on his/her/its criminal record (even arrests count) that is a permanent burden on their life.

          At worst, of course, people get killed.

          It should be (very?) unusual for a cop who commits brutality to keep his/her/its job. Period.

          1. It should be (very?) unusual for a cop who commits brutality to keep from being prosecuted. Period.

            FIFY

  6. Last chance agreements are a beacon of hope. Until cops figure out not to sign them.

    My city got rid of a bad cop after he signed a last chance agreement. No appeal, just fired.

  7. “One of them signed a “last chance” agreement that means he’ll be fired and forfeit his right to appeal termination if an internal investigation upholds another claim of police brutality against him in the next five years.”

    I’d hate to live in this town on the day that 5 years is up.

    1. “They drew first blood, not me!”

      1. +1 really, really big knife

      2. This is not the first time you have described your life in the way of John Rambo.

        1. “Do we get to win this time?”

          1. “I can’t get it outta my head! I can’t get it outta my head!”

            *sobs*

  8. This seems good and all, but what the fuck does Enfield need with 99 police officers? And there were 50,000 calls last year supposedly? That’s more than the population of the entire town. If there weren’t so many police officers being hired to do who knows what, maybe the worst ones like this guy never would have been hired?

    1. It’s party town! Or perhaps street fighting is a popular past time.

      1. The first rule of Street Fight Club is…

            1. Wow. Some ugly shite in there

    2. Any event recorded by dispatch is recorded as a “call”. That includes traffic stops.

      So, if there aren’t actual calls, they get created by the officers themselves.

    3. Someone out there is still pretending to be free.

    4. Enfield is kind of a working-class and difficult area, actually. It’s probably the biggest Northern CT town there is. It once had two high schools. That’s big for CT.

      Thompsonville (I had to look it up) was notorious back in the day for violence and drugs relative to that area. Now I think it’s all moved up to Massachusetts. So yeah, archaic, but they’re never gonna cut jobs from the public sector with unions and the like.

      1. I’d also point out that it’s a stone throw to Springfield, MA which has some bad spots and could filter south.

  9. I wonder how many job offers this brave officer got from badass departments filled with brave officers like him who don’t take shit from nobody. These pussies did him a favor. Now he can go work with some real cops.

  10. “Worden can appeal the decision to a labor board, according to Sferraza”

    Look, if voters are to be forced to pay for the misbehavior of cops, then it follows that elected officials accountable to the voters should have the final decision of whether to fire a cop. It should be employment at will.*

    *except for the usual exceptions: protected class status (religion, race, etc.). whistleblowing, refusal to obey illegal orders.

  11. It ain’t over ’til the arbitrator orders the city to reinstate him, with back pay.

    1. A free-market mechanism!

      Because we should totally admire the cops, but of course they all work for stupid and clueless bosses.

      /sarc, based on guess who

  12. What do we do when the law is lawless?

    1. Rule of man.

      1. Ugh. Unfortunately you’re right and also it never works out well.

    2. Laughter, ridicule, and a trip to the house of pain?

  13. Bigorati gonna bigorate.

    /derpfee

  14. At that point Worden turns Maher around and yells, “Don’t … with me” and tries to handcuff him. Yott and Emons join Worden and help take Maher to the ground. Worden then can be seen adjusting the glove on his right hand before firing two punches into Maher’s face. Worden is the only officer wearing gloves in the video.

    After a few more seconds, when Maher tries to raise his head, Worden strikes him at least once more while the other officers hold him down. An officer can be heard yelling, “Stop resisting, stop resisting.” Maher is heard yelling in apparent pain.

    Worden also is seen placing both of his knees into Maher’s back as Maher is on the ground. Maher does not appear to be trying to get back up.

    Mayor Scott Kaupin, a close personal friend of Worden, said he will continue to “be there to support him and help him as any friend should.”

    Um, Mayor Scotty Kaupin, ya think your choice in friends is a bit… sick?

    1. Might be time to vote in a mayor who isn’t friends with sadist authority mongers.

    2. Oh sure, you leave out this part!

      Worden is seen frisking Maher’s friend, Leonard Hill, who is handcuffed against Maher’s car, when he stops and walks over to Maher to ask why he is smoking. As Worden starts frisking him, Maher can be heard yelling that he has a right to smoke because he is outside.

      He was smoking, Cyborg. Smoking. Not everyone has mechanical lungs like you do. Officer Worden was just saving that poor man from his filthy habit. Better a series of punches to the face than the demon tobacco.

      1. Well, that changes everything. Clearly this filthy tar-lung got what he deserved! Thank God that brave selfless hero was there to save everyone from this cretin’s dangerous second hand smoke! /sarc

      2. Worden the Worthless is chock full of strange demons, bro.

    3. An officer can be heard yelling, “Stop resisting, stop resisting.”

      And here I thought this was just an H&R bigoratti meme. Huh…

      “Quick Ned, it’s comin’ right for us!”

      1. It’s a magical phrase that absolves an officer for all brutality.

        Just as “I feared for my life” absolves an officer for committing murder.

        1. Yeah, unfortunately, we didn’t just make this shit up.

        2. Just as “I feared for my life even though your average grade school girl wouldn’t have” absolves an officer for committing murder.

          OMG! He took his hands out of his pockets! BLAMBLAMBLAMBLAMBLAM

  15. The chief said the internal affairs report was reviewed by two captains and Deputy Chief Gary Collins who all agreed that Worden should be fired. Sferrazza said he also agreed that Worden needed to be fired for his actions on April 1.

    And what about the criminal charges? Has Worden been perp-walked into police HQ, yet?

    1. the state’s attorney rejected the department’s request for an arrest warrant

      Professional courtesy.

    2. Nope. DA refused to charge.

  16. The city of Enfield has recieved eight notices of intent to sue based on accusations against the cop.

    Which is probably the main reason he was fired. Not for being a sociopathic scumbag who enjoyed beating the shit out of people, but because he was going to cost the town a lot of money.

    1. But even that usually doesn’t cost officers their jobs.

  17. Worden then can be seen adjusting the glove on his right hand before firing two punches into Maher’s face.

    I’m going to go out on a short limb, and assume that glove had a pouch loaded with lead shot across the knuckles, for extra “STOP RESISTING” oomph.

    1. Brass knuckles.

      1. Nah. Brass knucks hurt on both ends. Sap gloves don’t.

  18. There needs to be a civilian court in which the jury is made up of non-government people and has the capability of firing the individual. A judge, especially in small towns, is nothing more than a cop.

    1. They’ll just stack the deck my making sure everyone in the jury is married to a cop or something. They always figure out how to stack the deck.

    2. NYC Liberal, I’d like to acquaint you with a concept that will inevitably and immediately apply to your scheme: “Regulatory Capture

      1. Is that the game where we capture the regulators and pelt them with rocks and garbage?

    3. It’s a nice idea, but unfortunately probably wouldn’t work as the civilians would be the target of harassment and intimidation.

      The first thing to do is disband the cop unions.

  19. Wait, the city wants to terminate the officer for committing a crime? I’m confused… when did the commission of several felonies, caught on camera, result in the loss of a job instead of a stint in prison?

    1. Because unions, and it’s even sadder to realize a) it’s almost miraculous they even got to fire him and b)the union and all fellow cops are supposed to stand solidly behind the thin blue line and fight to get him his job back.

      Sounds like this guy’s a real nasty piece of work if an internal investigation resulted in reccomendation he lose his job.

      Prison? Nah, I checked, he’s white.

  20. Two other cops were suspended for their role in the incident, helping Worden. One of them signed a “last chance” agreement that means he’ll be fired and forfeit his right to appeal termination if an internal investigation upholds another claim of police brutality against him in the next five years.

    Higher Standardz!

  21. Am I the only one who read, “Beating That State’s Attorney” as…you know?

  22. BTW, Connecticut is abbreviated as “CT”, not “Ct”. This is supposed to be a national level publication. If Lucy really was canned for typos, it appears the wrong person was fired, or at least, not enough of them were.

    1. DON’T TALK ABOUT LUCY!

      SHE IS STILL (one of) MY FAVORITES!

      I LIKE CAPS LOCK!

      (Apologies to ENB, she is currently tied with Lucy as my favorite but she has been making up ground at an astonishing pace. Keep up the good work.)

    2. You know who else got canned for typos?

    3. There’s no way anyone publishing here was canned for typos. They publish articles by some people who can barely write coherently.

  23. Credit where due. He’s gone and they tried to bring charges.

    There may have been more to it, but I’ll take em’ at their word. They should be praised for this action. Let’s see a lot more of this.

    Fuck the state’s attorney, however.

    1. Unfortunately, that’s the pattern. There are a number of places that have tried to fire, tried to sanction, tried to bring charges against, and they’re almost always rehired after arbitration or the DA won’t bring charges because reasonable belief of threat, or they’re overridden by the city council who’s in the pay of the police union.

      1. Sure. And we should reserve our animosity for those who actually enable these monsters.

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