Valley man who falsely claimed police brutality gets eight months in jail

A Valley resident who admitted he falsely claimed police had subjected him to physical and psychological harm has been sentenced to federal prison.

Edward Minerly, 52, of Ansonia, was sentenced May 7 to eight months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for making a false report of police brutality to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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 spoke with an FBI special agent. In the call, federal prosecutors said, Minerly alleged 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, prosecutors said.

Repeated the allegations

On June 6, 2013, an FBI special agent interviewed Minerly in person at a Bridgeport hospital where Minerly had been admitted.

According to prosecutors, Minerly again made allegations similar to those made on May 31, 2013 — that Derby police officers had arrested him and, after placing him in a holding cell, 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.

In November 2014, Minerly pleased guilty and 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.

Wastes resources, damages reputations

“In addition to taxing federal law enforcement resources, these false reports can irreparably damage the reputation of the wrongly accused police department and its officers,” said Deirdre M. Daly, U.S. attorney for Connecticut. “The prison term imposed today is an appropriate penalty for this conduct.”

“Any and all allegations of civil rights violations are taken very seriously by the FBI,” said Kevin James Kline, FBI acting special agent in charge. “We will seek prosecution of anyone who deliberately provides false information that diverts agents and resources from other important matters.”

FBI handled the case

The case was investigated by the FBI and was prosecuted by Asst. U.S. Attorney Henry K. Kopel and First Asst. U.S. Attorney Michael J. Gustafson, both of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Connecticut.

Minerly was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Alfred V. Covello in Hartford federal court.