Judge Garfinkel wrote, in no uncertain terms:
"The City’s position, in addition to being unsupported by precedent, is bewildering. How can Hartford maintain a qualified police force when it is willing to expose its officers to personal liability for compensatory damages for civil rights judgments? What capable officer, in his or her right mind, would want to work for such a city? And what message does this send to the community, the residents of Hartford, when their governing officials promote a position that, in all likelihood, will leave them without full compensation for injuries in the event that they are the victims of a civil rights violation? The Court readily understands the need, as a general rule, to deter police officers from the sort of outrageous conduct that warrants punitive damages. But this is not that case. The result in this case, in a second trial after a jury could not reach a verdict in the first, was a close call. This case arose from a confrontation apparently instigated by Fabian Edwards, who lost his case, and involved something of a melee in an enclosed environment in which the officers were initially outnumbered.3 It is safe to say that no police officer would expect to be abandoned by his employer with respect to an award of compensatory damages in this case, even if a jury unexpectedly also awarded punitive damages. Nor should any officer expect that."
As Judge Garfinkel stated, Bronin's decision not to support his Police Officer's was "bewildering". I think one of the key points was that the officers who were originally sued , in the Judges opinion , did not display any wilfull misconduct or malicious intent but were merely performing their duty
And yes, in a violent City like Hartford unpleasant things can happen under adverse conditions. Who in their right mind would come work in a City that leaves them on their own even when they are acting in good faith. It sends , and it did send, a chilling message to our Police Officers
You can read the full decision below. Thank you Judge Garfinkel for applying common sense to this matter, even when City Hall couldn't or wouldn't
20170913 Indemnification Motion Ruling by on Scribd