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NAACP Meets With Embattled Conn. Chief

MERIDEN, Conn. --

Meriden police Chief Jeffry Cossette, under fire for allegations that he treated his son favorably in a police internal investigation alleging excessive force met on Wednesday with members of the Meriden-Wallingford branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

The group said it’s “diligently monitoring” the case and is listening to community concerns.

Barbara Holloman, the branch president, said it is meeting with Cossette and police officers at the Meriden police station because the branch has received at least two dozen calls and one formal complaint about the incident.

Cossette said he agreed to meet with the group because the department has a good relationship with minorities in the city and he wants to keep an open dialogue with the branch and answer any questions he can.

Cossette came under fire after Officer Brian Sullivan and Huston filed a complaint that Evan Cossette, Cossete's son, was treated favorably in internal investigations because he is the chief's son.

The officers claim Evan Cossette received special treatment after being investigated for using excessive force.

In one instance cited in the complaint, Cossette is seen on surveillance video pushing a handcuffed man, Pedro Temich, in a holding cell after he was picked up for intoxication in Meriden last May. In the video, Temich hits his head on a concrete bench and Evan Cossette is seen moving Temich.

Cossette is named in two lawsuits filed on behalf of former Meriden police Officer John Neron, who claims Cossette and William Glass defamed him and invaded his privacy, and Meriden police Officer Donald Huston, who claims Cossette invaded his privacy, among other wrongs.

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