- Associated Press - Friday, December 20, 2019

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Police officers’ use of deadly force was justified in four separate cases dating as far back as 2008, a Connecticut state prosecutor for the Hartford area said Friday.

The reports on the long-outstanding cases were released by State’s Attorney Gail Hardy, who has faced scrutiny over why they were not completed sooner since a newspaper reported in October the cases had not been resolved.

“I again wish to extend my condolences to the families of the deceased for the loss of their loved ones and my deepest apologies for the time that it has taken to complete these reports,” Hardy said. “I am also publicly committing myself to the timely completion of all such investigations in the future.”

Hardy also apologized to police officers involved in the cases who had to wait for the formal reports.

The reports detail the investigations into the deaths of Ernesto Morales in Hartford on July 11, 2012; Edmanuel Reyes in Manchester on May 19, 2011; Taurean Wilson in East Hartford on Jan. 1, 2009; and Joseph Bak in Hartford on March 3, 2008.

In each case, the officers returned to duty after an internal review. Hardy indicated in her reports Friday that she would not pursue criminal charges against any of them.

Still pending is a report from Hardy on the fatal police shooting of Anthony Vega Cruz on April 20 in Wethersfield.

The Hartford Courant reported in October that Hardy, Hartford’s top prosecutor for over a decade, had not completed the required investigations. Connecticut’s 13 state’s attorneys since then have adopted an updated policy giving prosecutors 120 days to complete deadly use-of-force investigations after they receive case files from state police, the Courant reported.

The state Criminal Justice Commission has said it was pursuing more information before deciding whether to pursue disciplinary proceedings against Hardy for the reports’ delays.

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