Announced December 5, the lawyers representing the estate of the late Anthony Mansfield plan to file against the police officer involved in the cruiser crash and city of Hartford by the end of the week. In this case, Officer Taikwon Dudley’s police car struck Anthony Mansfield’s Chevrolet Cavalier on July 13, and a week later, Mansfield died from blunt trauma injuries.
Since the incident, Officer Dudley was arrested and now faces charges of negligent homicide with a motor vehicle, reckless driving, traveling unreasonably fast, and failure to obey traffic control signals. Dudley’s status as an officer is unclear, and he is next expected to appear in Superior Court on January 9.
The copy of the lawsuit states Dudley operated the police car in a “reckless and dangerous manner,” drove too fast toward the intersection, did not stop or slow down, did not use an audible warning signal, and failed to use the visibly flashing or revolving light on his police car. The lawsuit further states that the Hartford Police Department trained Dudley inadequately and they “knew or should have known he lacked the requisite qualifications for employment.”
Atty. Vincent Trantolo, the estate’s lawyer, stated: “This is a tragic, but totally unnecessary, loss of life and it will be redressed in a court of law. Citizens are entitled to be protected by their police department, not injured or killed by it.”
Before the crash occurred, Dudley was said to be helping other officers in a police chase, although accounts of what transpired at the intersection of Albany Avenue and Woodland Street vary. He is said to have traveled down Woodland, going through a red light in the process, and hit the passenger side of Mansfield’s vehicle, which was going through a green light. Dudley claims he slowed down at the intersection, looking east and west, before speeding through; the Chevrolet Cavalier then appeared in front of the police car.
Police analysts and witnesses at the scene have different accounts. An analysis of Dudley’s police car indicates the officer drove at full speed, even increasing in the seconds before the two vehicles collided. Witnesses recount that the officer did not brake and only turned his emergency siren and lights 100 to 130 feet before the intersection.