NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A New Haven police officer who made a stop in an unmarked car last summer faces discipline after an internal investigation found she violated department policies. Sgt. Shayna Kendall has been placed on paid leave and the matter has been referred to the state’s attorney for possible criminal charges.

The 86-page report stems from a complaint made by Virginia Hawthorne over a July 8, 2021, incident where she claims she was harassed by a person claiming to be an officer during an incident that began at a traffic light. No police reports were filed of any incident by any officer that day.  

Police investigators determined that Kendall, who said she was off duty, in an unmarked vehicle, and not in uniform, was on her way to work around 7 a.m.

Hawthorne said she was behind Kendall, who did not move when a stoplight light turned green and beeped at her. Hawthorne said Kendall later followed her car and pulled up alongside her and she feared for her safety when she spoke to her.

Investigators said Kendall told Hawthorne “you are detained,” when she stopped her. The investigation also determined that Kendall had “invoked her official capacity as a sworn police officer and put herself on duty” when she stopped Hawthorne with her emergency lights flashing.

The investigation found that Kendall failed to identify herself to Hawthorne, did not activate her body camera, and did not report the traffic stop.

In her complaint, Hawthorne said she was “very upset at a police officer exhibiting road rage and abusing her power. I was harassed and detained.”

The Internal Affairs Unit ruled that Kendall had violated police department “general orders” and noted Kendall’s “untruthful and inaccurate responses” during the investigation.

Kendall is a former spokesperson for the department and had most recently served as the deputy commander of training at the New Haven Police Academy.

Click here to read the 86-page report.