Pondering a primary challenge of State Rep. Andre Baker, East End City Councilwoman Eneida Martinez urges, in this commentary, more training and community policing to reduce confrontations between officers and citizens.
As the liaison to the Board of Police Commission and a member of The Public Safety Committee I have addressed a lot of issues while a lot of mouths have stayed zippered regarding public safety, quality of life, policing, community policing, internal and external violations, etc.
We all have seen throughout the nation whether it was broadcast on TV, social media, word of mouth, etc. the recent deaths at the hands of police officers. I am going to focus on Bridgeport. Bridgeport has a local ordinance that prohibits police from chasing stolen vehicles, dirt bikes, quads, etc. The state has a bill that was passed that prevents police from chasing stolen vehicles, etc.
This year has not kicked off to a great start for three local families. Do I believe that departments need intensive training on reacting to crime? ABSOLUTELY! The cause of killings are all due to suspects having weapons according to the officers involved. Have those involved used great judgement? Ansonia: A young man with mental health issues is killed. That was an escalated situation by the police department. When they didn’t get a response at that door they should have left, instead they remained knocking until they received a response. The young man from West Haven, first he attempted to rob AT&T, then it switch to carjacking? During the chase did the police see another person in the car with this young man? So how was this carjacking? How do you empty almost a whole clip on a young man that sat behind the wheel harmless to anyone after being closed in by police?
This young man was not a threat to anyone. Seven rounds??? Then we have the latest victim from Waterbury. What is this world turning into? I have supported and will continue to support many officers here in Bridgeport, not all in blue are bad cops, or have bad intentions. Where is the line drawn though? TRAINING IS A MUST! How to deal with Mental Health and other traumatic causes. I have addressed this for years with at least three different Chiefs. Violations by men and women in blue of ones civil rights has also became a high level issue here in Bridgeport.
The NAACP has stepped in to conduct investigations and support these families, but what other levels of accountability are in place? The nation needs to familiarize themselves with bill changes, bills passed on a state legislative level as well as local ordinances, etc. Start standing for something or keep accepting what is happening to our young men and women. This will only get worse, not better. The more passes these individuals get, the increase in police violence throughout the nation will see an increase in deaths of loved ones to gun violence at the hands of the police.
Bridgeport has called off a few stolen car chases, but they have also played a role in a few causes of death as well. A STOLEN CAR IS REPLACEABLE NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS TO IT, A HUMAN LIFE IS NOT AFTER BEING RIDDLED WITH BULLETS. I will applaud a few high-ranking officers who have been on call during stolen car incidents that have taken place in Bridgeport, where these high-ranking officers have made the right judgement and called off the car chases.
Civil Rights Violation: I am going to elaborate on the Aaron Kearney case as well. This young man may have had a traffic violation, but the escalation of what happened with the responding officer was a high level of taking your power overboard. Aaron was embarrassed, humiliated and his civil rights violated by the responding officer. This incident went viral all over social media throughout the nation. Let’s not forget the unprofessionalism used towards Aaron’s mother. “This officer used the safety tactic.” Where was her safety endangered? Aaron NEVER displayed a weapon. Did these officers pause to think “CAN THERE BE ANY TYPE OF MENTAL HEALTH?” “Does this young man have special needs.” “What if Aaron suffered from Seizure Disorders?” The blows he took to the side of his face and head could have killed him. All this because of a minor traffic violation??? Let’s not talk about the follow-up after his arrest, this officer still stalked this young man to the point of even contacting the courts to protest suspended sentence. WHERE IS THE LINE DRAWN? This officer received a ninety-day suspension. She used excessive force, her authority to the fullest. She should have been FIRED!
Bridgeport, we need MORE TRAINING, HEAVIER DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS, and more COMMUNITY POLICING.
“MAYBE THESE OFFICERS NEED A CLASS ON CIVIL RIGHTS.”
“The rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality.”
Let’s stay mindful that this young man (Aaron Kearney) is the grandson of a retired Bridgeport Captain (Nelson P. Kearney Sr., deceased) who served our City with dignity and respect for all. The founding member of Bridgeport Guardians. A man who showed love to all us until his last days on the force and on earth. How does this family accept this physical abuse by this officer who attacked Aaron. What a disrespect to the years Captain Kearney served and put into this City.