Cari's Psychologist Presents Conflicting Assertions in Court?

By McCready, Brian | New Haven Register (New Haven, CT), April 24, 2013 | Go to article overview

Cari's Psychologist Presents Conflicting Assertions in Court?


McCready, Brian, New Haven Register (New Haven, CT)


By Evan Lips elips@nhregister.com @evanmlips on Twitter

HARTFORD -- It remains unclear whether retired East Haven Police Officer David Cari's psychologist will testify as an expert witness, especially after a medical article she introduced at a pretrial hearing contradicted her assertion that post-traumatic stress disorder affects memory.

Linda Berger, of the Post Traumatic Center in New Haven, claimed Tuesday in federal court there was a "90 percent chance" Cari experienced an episode of dissociation Feb. 19, 2009, the day that prosecutors claim he filed a false report in the arrest of the Rev. James Manship at the Latino-owned My Country Store on Main Street in East Haven.

Dissociation is a psychiatric term referring to one's detachment from their reality during periods of stress.

Berger has stated those suffering from the disorder have trouble remembering details and events that are completely unrelated to the incident originally responsible for triggering PTSD.

"He told me his 'head went someplace else,'" Berger recalled regarding the information she obtained during the 33 sessions she conducted with Cari.

The assertion Cari's condition led to his filing of the false report was questioned when Richard Schechter, the prosecution's senior litigation counsel, said a 2010 Journal of Psychology article concluded "learning rather than memory consolidation is impaired in PTSD patients."

Schechter noted it was Berger who first provided the court with the article.

The February 2009 incident, captured on camera, triggered a federal investigation into whether the Police Department practiced racial profiling of Latino residents.

Cari, officers Dennis Spaulding and Jason Zullo and Sgt. John Miller were arrested following a two-year FBI and U.S. Department of Justice probe.

Cari is accused of filing a false arrest report in which he wrote he did not know what Manship was "concealing with his hands," although Manship's video shows Cari twice referring to the object in the reverend's hands as a camera. …

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