Iamartino v. City of Bridgeport
To establish a violation of the Due Process Clause, a plaintiff must demonstrate that government action was " `so egregious, so outrageous, that it may fairly be said to shock the contemporary conscience,' " pursuant to Pena v. DePrisco, a 2005 decision of the 2nd Circuit. In June 2007, City of Bridgeport police officers allegedly were informed that they would not pass a taser training course at the Bridgeport Police Academy, unless they allowed another officer to taser them. Chief of Police Brian Norwood informed the police officers that if they were unwilling to participate, they could return home. Two police officers, who refused to undergo the tasering, were not disciplined. Police Officer Gregory Iamartino allegedly pulled his groin and was in pain for several days, as a result of being tasered. Afterward, Officer Iamartino informed Chief Norwood that he had received conflicting information about whether he was required to allow himself to be tasered, and he was concerned that the deputy chief would retaliate, as a result of complaints about the deputy chief's conduct during the taser training. In October, Iamartino complained about an investigation into whether he and his partner failed to provide back up to other police officers. Iamartino insinuated that the investigation constituted an unfair response to earlier complaints about the taser training. Norwood issued a written reprimand. Iamartino sued the city, Chief Norwood and the deputy chief. At no point did Iamartino communicate with the public about his concerns about taser training. He failed to establish he spoke as a citizen, as opposed to solely as an employee, and the court granted summary judgment to the defendants on Iamartino's First Amendment retaliation claim. The court also dismissed Iamartino's due-process claim. The defendants offered legitimate government objectives to require officers to experience tasering. Iamartino failed to establish the underlying objective was malicious or sadistic. The taser training course, wrote the District Court, did not approach the conscience-shocking level that the Due Process Clause requires. The District Court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment on federal claims and did not exercise jurisdiction over remaining state-law claims.