Connecticut Mother Fatally Killed in Crosswalk by Speeding Officer With No Lights or Sirens, Lawsuit Alleges

The family of a mother murdered by a police vehicle driving through a Connecticut neighborhood while responding to a burglary report without lights or sirens has filed a lawsuit against the city and the officer they blame for her death.

Katherine Colon was walking on West Main Street in New Britain on September 21, 2023, at 1 a.m. when she was hit by New Britain Police Officer Connor Reinsch, who was speeding through a neighborhood at 60 mph in a 25 mph zone to respond to a burglary call, according to the lawsuit.

“It makes me sick to think that we still have officers speeding down these streets without lights on, potentially killing another person,” Colon’s daughter, Maribel Rodriguez, told Hartford CBS affiliate WFSB.

Joaquin Madry, the family’s attorney, said in a statement that no situation is so serious that it is worth endangering the lives of others.

“The driver of this vehicle is responsible for the death of Katherine Colon, and so is the city of New Britain,” Madry said in a statement.

According to the lawsuit, Reinsch drove his vehicle without regard for the safety of all individuals and property, at a higher speed than is appropriate for the conditions, and while preoccupied. The lawsuit also claims that he failed to keep a sufficient lookout for pedestrians on the road, did not slow down to avoid the collision, and did not engage his brakes in time to avoid striking Conlon.

In addition to Reinsch, the complaint mentions the city of New Britain. A city official informed WFSB that Reinsch remained on restricted duty and refused to comment on the ongoing dispute.

Waterbury State’s Attorney Maureen T. Platt recently filed a report blaming Reinsch and Colon, claiming she had also put herself in danger by wearing dark clothing and failing to use a crosswalk. According to the investigation, she was also legally inebriated, having consumed alcohol and substances such as cocaine and fentanyl.

Maribel Candelaria, Colon’s mother, spoke up in October at a rally in which hundreds marched in the streets demanding responsibility, according to the New Britain Progressive.

“My heart is permanently shattered into a million pieces. “One part is filled with memories, and the other parts die with her,” she explained. “As a mother, I can’t sleep knowing what the police did to my daughter. They drive around like they own the streets, speeding and harassing. The police have never treated me with dignity or humanity, but the fact that they took my daughter for no reason is irritating and makes me enraged. We seek responsibility for what happened to my daughter.”

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