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10/21/2019 - 10/21/19-Statement of Acting Chief of Police John Cappiello - Officer Devin Eaton Arrest
October 21, 2019
Captain Ronald Smith
The following is a statement that has been issued by Acting Chief of Police John Cappiello regarding the arrest of Officer Devin Eaton:
“New Haven State’s Attorney Patrick J. Griffin announced today that he has completed his review of the shooting that occurred in New Haven on April 16, 2019 involving Hamden Police Officer Devin Eaton. The prosecutor has decided to charge Officer Eaton with the crime of Assault in the First degree, 2 counts Reckless Endangerment First Degree. Officer Eaton turned himself into the Connecticut State Police and was released after posting bond.
The prosecutor’s decision clears the way for the Ethics and Integrity Unit (commonly known as internal affairs) of the Hamden Police Department to complete its investigation of Officer Eaton’s conduct. At the State’s Attorney’s request the formal interview of Office Eaton by internal affairs was postponed during the State Police investigation and the prosecutor’s deliberations.
The Ethics and Integrity Unit will continue to use the services of independent consultant Jeffrey Noble while it completes the internal affairs report. It will then be the responsibility of the Chief of Police to make a recommendation to the Police Commission concerning what action to take concerning Officer Eaton. The deadline for issuance of a departmental complaint against Officer Eaton will be approximately 30 days from today.
Under the Town Charter, the Police Commission has the sole power to remove police personnel. Under the collective bargaining agreement that covers police officers, only the Police Commission can impose discipline in excess of a five day suspension. When deciding whether to remove an officer or impose other discipline, the Police Commission first receives a recommendation from the Chief of Police. Officer Eaton is currently on administrative leave. As required by Section 46.3(B) the collective bargaining agreement, this has been a paid leave. Once the State’s Attorney brings felony charges in accordance with today’s announcement, however, it will be converted to unpaid leave.
Officer Eaton is entitled to the presumption of innocence, like any other accused individual, and is presumed innocent of the criminal charges until convicted by a jury of his peers in a court of law.”