HARTFORD - The 18-year-old Hartford teen shot by police with a Taser last month appeared before a judge in Hartford Community Court Wednesday, but nothing was determined about the charges he is facing in the incident.
About a dozen or so protesters stood on the sidewalk outside the courthouse at 80 Washington St. prior to the arraignment holding signs asking for the charges of interfering with police and breach of peace to be dropped against Luis Anglero Jr.
When Anglero appeared before Judge Thelma Santos, prosecutors said they had spoken with his attorney earlier and agreed to continue the case to Oct. 15.
Anglero's attorney, Jamaal T. Johnson, said outside the courtroom that he believed his client would not be convicted.
"The laws of the state of Connecticut are on our side. The truth is on our side," Johnson said. "We're confident that our client will be exonerated."
Anglero was shot with a Taser by Det. Shawn Ware on Aug. 19 as police were attempting to disperse a crowd that had gathered at Albany Avenue and Garden Street.
Police said Anglero was acting "aggressively" toward officers and disobeyed orders to leave the area. But family and witnesses at the scene said Anglero had stopped advancing toward Ware, was complying with orders and did not pose a threat when he was shocked.
The encounter was captured on a nearby business's surveillance camera. The video shows Anglero rapidly advancing toward Ware before coming to a stop and putting his hands down by his side. There is a pause, and then Ware advances three steps and fires the Taser. Anglero immediately falls to the ground. The video does not contain audio.
Anglero was taken by ambulance to St. Francis Hospital, charged there the next day and released on a promise to appear.
The Hartford Police Department's internal affairs division has opened an investigation into the incident, and it has been the subject of several community rallies in recent weeks.
Family members said Anglero began to experience seizure-like symptoms after being shocked by Ware and that he hit his head on the sidewalk.
Anglero, who walked with a slight limp, did not speak with reporters after his court appearance Wednesday.
Santos explained the purpose of Hartford's community court was to sentence offenders to community service instead of prison time in an effort to prevent them from obtaining a criminal record.
"What we do in this courtroom is not impose any jail sentence or any fines," she said.
Santos said those with cases in community court also have the option of taking their cases to trial, which could result in a convict and a possible prison sentence.
Vanessa Gonzalez, one of the protestors outside the courthouse Wednesday, said she was there because she watched the video and didn't think that Anglero deserved to be shocked by Ware.
"If I see something that I think is morally wrong and I don't say anything about it I'm morally complicit with it," Gonzalez said.Copyright © 2015, CT Now