Mother killed by officer speeding to call with no lights or sirens: Lawsuit


The family of Katherine Colon, inset, struck and killed by an officer, has filed a lawsuit. (Screenshots from WFSB/YouTube)

The family of Katherine Colon, inset, struck and killed by an officer, has filed a lawsuit. (Screenshots from WFSB/YouTube)

The family of a mother killed by a police vehicle speeding through a Connecticut neighborhood while responding to a burglary call with no lights and sirens has filed a lawsuit against the city and the officer they blame for the death.

Katherine Colon was walking on West Main Street in New Britain on Sept. 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 a burglary call when he hit her, according to the lawsuit, which seeks $15,000.

“It makes me sick to know that we still have officers who are speeding down these streets without their lights on and who could potentially kill another individual,” Maribel Rodriguez, Colon’s daughter, told Hartford CBS affiliate WFSB.

The family’s attorney, Joaquin Madry, said in a statement that no emergency is so great that it warrants 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.

The lawsuit alleges Reinsch operated his vehicle without due regard for the safety of all persons and property, drove his motor vehicle at a rate of speed greater than is reasonable for the conditions, and allowed himself to be distracted while operating his motor vehicle. The suit also alleges he failed to keep a proper lookout for pedestrians on the roadway, did not slow down to avoid the collision, and did not apply his brakes in time to avoid colliding with Conlon.

In addition to Reinsch, the lawsuit names the city of New Britain. A city spokesperson told WFSB that Reinsch remains an officer on restricted duty and declined to comment on the pending litigation.

A report recently released by Waterbury State’s Attorney Maureen T. Platt blamed Reinsch and Colon, saying she had also placed herself in danger by wearing dark clothing and failing to use a crosswalk. The report said she had also been legally intoxicated, under the influence of alcohol and drugs, including cocaine and fentanyl.

In October, Colon’s mother, Maribel Candelaria, spoke out during a rally where hundreds marched in the streets demanding accountability, the New Britain Progressive reported.

“My heart is forever broken into a million pieces. One part is filled with memories, the other parts die with her,” she said. “As a mother, I can’t sleep at night knowing what the police did to my daughter. They ride around like they own the streets, speeding and harassing. I’ve never been treated with dignity or humanity by the police, but for them to take my daughter for absolutely no reason is infuriating, it makes me angry. We need accountability for what happened to my daughter.”



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