Feds: Valley man admits making false police brutality claim

A Valley man has pleaded guilty in federal court to making a false report of police brutality to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Minerly, 52, of Ansonia waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty to one count in Hartford federal court on Nov. 18.

Minerly faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced in February.

Claimed he was kicked in head

According to court documents and statements made in court, on May 18, 2013, officers with the Derby Police Department arrested Minerly on an outstanding probation violation warrant.

On May 31, 2013, Minerly called the New Haven FBI and told a special agent that Derby police officers had recently arrested him for a probation violation and, upon placing him in a holding cell, commenced taunting him, subjecting him to flashing lights and tipping him backwards out of his wheelchair.

Minerly also alleged that Derby police officers kicked him in the head, arms and upper body.

More claims in second interview

On June 6, 2013, an FBI special agent interviewed Minerly in person at a Bridgeport hospital, where he had been admitted. Minerly again made similar allegations — claiming that Derby police officers had picked him out of his wheelchair, threw him into a wall, flashed the lights on and off, and kicked him in the head and beat him after placing them in a cell.

In pleading guilty today, Minerly admitted that the statements he made to the FBI alleging physical abuse by members of the Derby Police Department after his probation violation arrest were false.

‘Committed to investigating’

“The Department of Justice is committed to investigating and prosecuting civil rights abuses by members of law enforcement,” said Deirdre M. Daly, U.S. Attorney for Connecticut.

“We are equally committed to prosecuting false reports of police brutality as these reports not only waste valuable federal law enforcement resources, but they have the potential to indelibly stain the police department and its officers that are unfairly maligned,” Daly said.

The case has been investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Henry K. Kopel and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Gustafson.