BRIDGEPORT - A Bridgeport teen says he is planning to sue the police department over claims of police brutality, though police say their use of force was justified.
Eric Diaz, 16, was stopped early Sunday morning at Stratford and Newfield avenues for allegedly violating curfew. Diaz's mother says she had sent him to the store to pick up medication. Diaz says that when the officer asked him how old he was, he told him to wait a moment because he was on the phone with his family. Diaz claims the officer threw him against the fence, then onto the ground. He was then allegedly hit and choked by the officer.
One of Diaz's friends recorded the encounter and posted it on YouTube, where it has received more than 10,000 views.
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In a statement, Bridgeport police say the officer was trying to control Diaz as he was resisting arrest. "They're allowed to apply force when necessary to make an arrest, especially when a suspect is resisting, as was the case here," says police spokesman Bill Kaempffer.
Diaz is due in court next week on charges of interfering with an officer.