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Following Arrest Of Teen, Questions Raised About Police Use Of Force

November 13th, 2017 · 87 Comments · Law Enforcement, News and Events

Update here. Viral video here. From Dan Tepfer, CT Post:

City police officers are once again under investigation, this time for allegedly beating a city teen after a car accident Friday night.

Perez crowd

CT Post caption: Bridgeport Police Chief A.J. Perez, left, reads a statement to protesters outside Police Headquarters on Sunday, November 12 regarding an impending investigation into the incident Friday night between police and city resident Aaron Kearney. Kearney’s family members including his aunt Tiffany Elliott, center, and sister Antoinette Rogers, right, called for quick action for an officer they say repeatedly punched Kearney in the head while he was being held down by other officers. Photo by Brian Pounds.

Police Chief Armando Perez said he has placed several officers on administrative status and ordered the city’s Office of Internal Affairs to investigate the incident, which police said began when Aaron Kearney, 18, of Bridgeport reported a minor car accident he was involved in on Seaview Avenue near Boston Avenue just after 9 p.m. Friday. In a video of the incident that has been posted on the Internet, five police officers can be seen forcing Kearney face-first onto the hood of a car as Kearney’s mother is screaming, “Don’t hurt my son, don’t hurt my son.”

At one point a female officer appears to be hitting the side of Kearney’s face with her hand as other officers hold Kearney’s head against the car.

Full story here.

Statement from Police Chief AJ Perez:

“The Bridgeport Police Department is committed to public service and the safeguarding of the public’s dignity and constitutionally afforded rights.

“The men and women of the Department work tirelessly day and night, often at great peril to themselves to make Bridgeport a better and safer community.

“When it comes to my attention that there are legitimate questions surrounding an officer’s use of force, I place that officer on administrative status. This status removes the officer from contact with the public while the case is expeditiously and vigorously investigated by the Bridgeport Police Office of Internal Affairs. This measure is taken to protect both the officer and the public while the officer is afforded their due process.

“I have taken this step with the officers involved in the incident Friday night following a motor vehicle accident on Seaview Avenue, some of which was filmed on video and posted to social media.

“In the event that an officer is found to have knowingly and willfully violated policy by using excessive force in the performance of their duties, I will make every effort to see that officer separated from their employment with the Bridgeport Police Department and where applicable arrested and charged with a crime.

“As the Chief of Police, I have a zero-tolerance policy for abusing the citizens who we are tasked and sworn to protect and serve.

“It is unfortunately also common for Bridgeport Police officers to face situations that require the use of force, up to and including the use of deadly force. I continue to support my officers who meet the standards of reasonableness in these situations when such a use of force is justified.”

Statement from Greater Bridgeport NAACP:

George Mintz, President of the local NAACP has urged full fact finding by all investigators in this situation. He then calls for a timely release of that information by the Department. For over a year the NAACP and other community members have pursued a monthly scheduled meeting with Chief Armando Perez to encourage better understanding of Department policy and training, including the extent of current “community policing” that would deal with accusations of “excessive force.” The meetings on occasion have been canceled and not rescheduled as recently as October and November.

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87 Comments so far ↓

  • Jimfox

    It’s blatantly obvious that this police department has no respect for the people of this city or the Mayor and Police Chief.
    Law officers need to hold themselves to higher standards, Mayor you promise to protect the Citizens of Bridgeport, WHEN!

  • Joel Gonzalez

    Captain Kearney was from all indication, a cops cop. I’m sure he had seen and heard of a lot worst punches given by and taken by Bridgeport Police officers during his 38 year career. The video does more damage to his case than on the officer. Is punching on the face using excessive force? No, in most cases, video or no video. It’s not like she beat his face with a flashlight. Despite the punches, the video shows that he was still conscious and combative. He was so conscious and aware that at the end of the video he says (3) times. “Record me Ma.” I’m sure he was taken to the Hospital too.

    http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/ctpost/obituary.aspx?pid=20291388

    I’m sure we have all heard the saying, “There’s is one in every family.” Mom, son and other family members are mentioned. I asked my self: Where’s his Daddy, who is he?
    So, I searched and came up with the judicial link below.

    http://www.jud2.ct.gov/crdockets/SearchByDefDisp.aspx

    Then I found this article from the Ct Post, any connection here?:

    http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Police-Woman-plotted-man-s-death-for-revenge-641171.php

    • Ron Mackey

      Joel, there’s no way that you can be objective about this topic because you work at the police department and can’t ever speak against anything that’s controversial involving a police officer because if you did, well, you just know better.

      • Joel Gonzalez

        Ron Mackey, objectictive? I’ll speak about whatever I feel, especially when I’m sure I have a better understanding of the issue. Did you read the 2010 Ct. Post article? It smells like a cover-up by police to protect Aaron Kearney ( relative of cops) in the murder of Daron Green in 2010. Was Aaron Kearney the person who was in the back seat when Daron Green was shot? Black people shooting a black man on Blackmen Street. That should really concern you, JML, and the NAACP.

      • Joel Gonzalez

        “On the night of June 22, Nichols picked up Green in Kearney’s car. Police said Green just thought they were going to “chill,” But in the backseat of the car was a loaded handgun. Then Nichols casually told Green she had to pick up a friend.

        Police said they picked up an as yet unidentified man who got into the backseat of the car. As they drove along Blackman Street, police said the unidentified man shot Green in the head. They dumped the body at the corner of Denver Avenue and Denver Court.”

  • Bob Halstead

    They certainly treated myself and my sons friends with excessive heavy handed ness down at Brew Port a while back. The officer suspended a few weeks ago, Tommy Lattanzio was the culprit. His cohort was Officer Vincennes. When I️ challenged a traffic ticket in court, Tommy flagrantly lies on the Stand!
    Also I️ wouldn’t trust the owner of Brewport, Jeff Browning farther than I️ could throw him. His bouncers are thugs!

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      In 2015 Gilberto Valentin sued the Bridgeport Police Department, then Chief Joseph Gaudett and Officers James Honis, John Gale and Thomas Lattanzo for racial discrimination in Federal District Court. (The court ruled for the defendants.)

    • Joel Gonzalez

      Bob Halstead, The staff at Brewport nor the officers involved were NOT the ones who were intoxicated.

      • Ron Mackey

        Being intoxicated in a place that’s selling that person alcohol isn’t against the law.

        • Joel Gonzalez

          Talking shit and getting cocky with anyone while intoxicated, can land you in jail, the hospital, or 10 feet under.

          • Donald Day

            Joel so getting cocky and talking shit to a cop is punishable by a good ass whipping?
            Let’s just take the Constitution, tear it up and start over again because we just can’t pick and choose which articles that we’re going to follow. The Supreme Court ruled that profanity is covered by free speech.

          • Ron Mackey

            Joel, so if a female member of your family was out celebrating and talking shit and getting cocky with anyone while intoxicated and they should land you in jail for doing nothing?

          • The Bridgeport Kid

            Here here, Donald.

            About forty years ago man was cited for disorderly conduct for giving the finger to a Florida police officer. The defendent appealed all the way to the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta which ruled “the finger,” while vulgar and profane, was protected soeech under the First Amendment. 

      • Frank Gyure

        I don’t like the pizza at Brewport.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      If Brewport was located in Black Rock the bouncers would most likely be more polite. Look at the neighborhood, Bob.

  • Robert Teixeira

    like gun control there’s only an protest and uproar after something happens. Body cameras are not a silver bullet but it will reduce excessive force by police. JML where is the NAACP and other group to have our police force have body camera? This should have been done along time age. #jimhimesnaacpandothergroupsoundsofsilence.

    http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Bridgeport-police-chief-wants-body-cams-for-6238447.php

    • Robert Teixeira

      #deletingmypostsGoodluckpeople

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9Dg-g7t2l4

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      Body cameras are expensive technology, Robert. Who’s going to pay for them? The municipal budget is operating at a deficit.

    • John Marshall Lee

      RT,
      Body cameras and such technology have been effective in some cases where they have been purchased and used. But in genuine fashion the attitudes a person brings to the job are likely to become reinforced by the “blue culture” and not easily give way to training before hitting the streets as a rookie. It seems unlikely that 1-3 hours of training each three year “continuing ed” cycle will overcome instincts and attitudes, in my opinion.
      Perhaps OIB readers might become more aware of the “environment” from the eyes of Ron Bailey who has written and published NO BLACK HEROES, previously noted on OIB. Aside from the expense that has not been solved by the Mayor’s fiscal advisors, what works when you see the images of multiple men and women in blue attempting to subdue another person? What should the community learn, understand and expect? Time will tell.

      • Ron Mackey

        I strongly suggest that people read Ron Bailey’s book, “No Black Heroes” to get a view from the inside as a police officer.

        • Joel Gonzalez

          Yea, Ron. Like the inside look we got from Billy Chase and Lennie Grimaldi– A look from one man’s point of view. I’m waiting to find the book in a tag sale for a dollar or 50 cents.

          • John Marshall Lee

            Joel, when you write your book, (some wild titles come to mind) will it have “one man’s point of view”? Two? Three? How many voices are attempting to be heard at this time?
            Joel, instead of taking immense amounts of your valuable time to attend tag sales hoping to find a copy of Ron’s book for cheap, why not use a Library? See if they have a copy or would be willing to secure one because of its local story line? Wouldn’t that save you time, provide the material you claim that you are waiting for, and use the wonderful public service that you were demeaning within the past week? On OIB you have two of us recommending a reading and only you devaluing our advice and demeaning the book itself. What’s bothering you? If it’s not something you read, maybe it’s something you ate? Time will tell.

        • Ron Mackey

          So Joel, if a police officer is wrong you would setup and say that the police officer was wrong?

          • John Marshall Lee

            Ron,
            Look at Joel’s postings since Steve Auerbach stopped posting. They have increased several fold and they are primarily combative rather than informative or, perish the concept, humorous. Bridgeport Kid thinks he has a lot of anger which he is dispensing to any and all. Perhaps you have noticed and have a theory? A wild conspiracy theorist could suggest that the City has an account that funds a single “obstructionist blogger” on OIB, and when Steve made a move to Shelton, Joel became the next VOG – voice of Ganim2? What theory might you offer along similar lines? Time will tell.

      • Robert Teixeira

        JML do you think Ron or other blacks cops are not part of that Blue line culture in one form or another? What about to the cop who is/was president of the Guardians who beat out the person that hit his car? or that racial letters circulated in the police department. I believe Ron was asked to do something of the same.

        I’m not going to get into the yin and yang of police work or dealing with the public, especially when it has to do with aggression, right TBK SHM.
        Like me tell you a story. I know someone who was on his way to the library and was pulled over. His registration had just expired because he forgot to mail the check in to renew it. A (white) cop pulls him over and asked him what he stuffed under his passenger seat. He said nothing. The cop kept asking him this, and he was getting more and more aggressive in doing so. He just sat there with his hands on the wheel saying nothing. Finally the cop “asked” him to get out of the car so he can search it. He gets out of the car, and the cop walks him to the back of the car. Just as they got to the back of the car another cop (white) pulls up. Now the cop has him against his car searching him. The cop asked what is in his jacket pocket. Human reaction he reaches in his jacket pocket, just as he did, the cop grabs his gun out. The other cop that just pulled up grabs this cop and say whoa, whoa. The cop that just pulled up grabs the person and walks him to the other side of the street and tells him to say here. He then goes back to where the car and the other cop were. He stayed there until the tow truck come and tows the car. He comes back and gives him his ticket. I’m not saying what the first cop’s intensions or deal was, but you have to differentiate the uniform, the job, and the person from the power they have, and how they wield it, true story.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v75CFbaajKg

        • John Marshall Lee

          Your story. Fact or fiction? If your skin is white or so light as to pass as white do you escape some arbitrary stops? Is this part of white privilege?
          Are these things that ought to be discussed? When I go into a pressure situation with a team, a unit, fellow safety officers, should I expect my back to be covered? What builds such trust? When trust is broken in one or more ways, how do those units function? Does an increase in compensation float the “blue life” so far that people tolerate a little less integrity or a little more questionable practice? What is the standard? Who monitors? Is a civilian review necessary and practical? What happens when it is eliminated from our Bridgeport process? Is time telling?

          • Robert Teixeira

            You need to keep in mind. It’s not solely about White or Black privilege. or rich or poor privilege. We are talking about Blue privilege. Are We not?

          • Joel Gonzalez

            Thirteen (13) fucking question on just this post. You should become a cop.

  • Stringfellow

    The Bridgeport Kid is right body cameras are expensive and the storage of video is even more expensive. Who is going to pay for it? Once again there is only a small video clip not the whole incident. Let’s not jump to conclusions until all the facts are in. There must be more than Mr. Kearney’s driver’s license being suspended.

    Where is this same outage at the scene of a murder or a non fatal shooting? Why are they not demanding something must be done about the killing? Just the other day Mr Kollock called out the chief about the recent murder of his son in the Green Homes.

    His son was stripped and shot multiple times, his life mattered didn’t it?

    What about the video on channel 12 of the woman being shot,that was in June. Again no outrage no protesting. How many homicides and non fatal shootings have there been in Bridgeport since Jason Negron was shot and killed, anyone know?

    Recently Bridgeport cops arrested people with guns one gun was an AR-15. The good work done by the department should not be overshadowed by the incident with Mr. Kearney.

    • Robert Teixeira

      If the cops had body cameras theere would be more videos. SMH

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      For many people the only contact with a police officer is when he or she has violated the law, any law from a traffic citation on up. A negative experience: no one enjoys going to court even if only to pay a fine. So police officers are viewed with suspicion, and ambivalence: If your house is robbed who ya gonna call, “Ghostbusters”? 

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      The Bridgeport Police Department has to contend with a lot of disorderly behavior: Burglary; armed robbery; assault; murder; weapons trafficking; street gangs distributing hard drugs; prostitution, bookmaking and loansharking; and other nefarious activities. The men and women in uniform do a rather good job  in light of the department being understaffed and underfunded. Recently the BPD has carried out some notable raids, taking quite a few guns (including an AR-15 assault rifle) and large quantities of narcotics off the streets. 

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    That’s right, one short video of poor quality shot with an iPhone does not tell the whole story.

  • Donald Day

    What I did distasteful is the proclamation by his mother as he was getting punched that “my son is a white boy.”

    What is she intimating that only Black men should be beaten and how dare these police beat a white man? I think her pronouncement is the mood of white America and that mood is why we say, Black Lives Matter. Is this white privilege gone haywire or just a woman who thinks that white people should be treated differently than Blacks irrespective of the laws of America and Bridgeport?

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      “My son’s a white boy.” Really lady? That doesn’t entitle your kid to be a mouthy little punk.

      When all is said and done and the investigation is completed it will probably come out this kid had an attitude problem. People will cheer the cop for tuning him up.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    You never stop do you? Everything is racial. I really don’t know if this person was black or white but he looks like he was resisting.In todays society maybe we should tell the PD to talk to this angry kid and tell him his life will get better. The the PD should wish him well and let him go. After all its the people in society that fucked him up.

  • Frank Gyure

    The “big question” here is that ,in The City of Bridgeport,we do not have strong civilian control over the local para-military organization called the Bridgeport Police Department. Chuck Paris,A.J. Perez and Joe Ganim have politicized the BPT Police Dept. The issue of BPT Police officers setting up a sub-station in BPT-Trumbull Gardens during the Ganim-Finch-Foster primary was a huge dereliction of duty and there were no repercussions of this unethical behavior because Ganim was elected. However,Chuck Paris and the BPU are shocked to find out that Joe Ganim is all about himself and that’s it. Ganim pulled police from the Democratic Presidential Primary polling places and Chuck Paris was shocked. New contract negotiations between the BPT Police Union and the Ganim Administration have come to a standstill and is going to arbitration. We had Ganim spend the first six months of his mayoralty trying to get rid of Gaudett and putting A.J Perez,Ganim(1)’s personal chauffeur to become ACTING Police Chief.Then there is the issue of Wilbur Chapman. How much money did Wilbur Chapman get and what did he do and what is the final disposition of Wilbur Chapman. I might have missed it but I don’t recall seeing any official announcement from Av Harris about the what and where Chapman is doing with City of Bridgeport. The Board of Police Commissioners are a bunch of castrated clowns who do nothing,say nothing and hear nothing. Any police force of a urban area such as Bridgeport is a para-military unit and Chuck Paris and Joe Ganim has turned into a para-political group. Today’s police officers need to be highly educated and highly trained and I truly believe that the “modern” police officer wants to be out of politics and want to do their serious job. That is not the dynamic that is happening in the Bridgeport Mayor’s Office and within the top ranks of The Bridgeport Police Department and the Bridgeport police Union.It is becoming more and more obvious. Charter Revision is becoming mandatory to create a better government in Bridgeport that is necessary.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    The incident in question should not be a defining moment for the Bridgeport Police Department. The only piece of evidence we have is a few seconds of iPhone video, not a “Zapruder” film.

    The State Police should be called in to investigate but even then there would some degree of public suspicion.

    • Frank Gyure

      How many more “defining” moments do we need to see?

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      We don’t have all the facts yet, Frank. As noted above all the only evidence is a shaky video with distorted audio. That can be interpretted a million different ways. None of us is an expert in forensic analysis.

  • Jose Reyes

    Cool your jets folks. You can not pass judgement on the officer based on 44 seconds of conveniently recorded video. As usual a hack job of a story by the Connecticut Post doesn’t give any details of how it went from the alleged victim calling in an accident to his license being under suspension. They obviously had a copy of the police report why not thoroughly read the report before writing your story? Because it’s all about sensationalism. Love Chief Perez like a brother but please stop appeasing the natives and for God’s sake turn your phone off before you read a statement on video. And finally according to policy and procedures complaints against Officers should be completed in 60 days let’s hope that is the case and doesn’t take longer than the Mueller Russian collusion witch-hunt against Trump.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      The Post reported the information available at the time. All or most of the actual details will not be known until the official investigation is completed.

      By the way, Mueller’s “witch hunt” has turned up communications between Wikileaks and Donald Trump jr. The stain has seeped into the Whitehouse. But you’ll just dismiss it as so-called “fake news” because it puts your hollow god in a bad light.

    • Frank Gyure

      We are NOT just talking about this one incident.

    • Ron Mackey

      Jose Reyes, you stated. “Love Chief Perez like a brother,” there is no way that you can be objective about the police department and Chief Perez.

      • The Bridgeport Kid

        [Applause]

      • Joel Gonzalez

        Ron Mackey, you and Donald Day have made it clear that youguys didn’t like your bosses at the Fire Deparment back in the days. why the fuck then you guys try so hard to be or sound “objective?”

        • Ron Mackey

          Joel, you are scared to death to speak against anything about the Bridgeport Police Department because you work at for the Police Department. The universal answer to whenever they are got on film is “I feared for my life.”

          • Joel Gonzalez

            Ron Mackey, I don’t work for the Police Department.

            What I write is based on what I find while doing searches of public documents, etc.

            Here is an example of what I found that raises questions. You read it earlier and had nothing to say. This happened in 2010 when A.J. Perez was NOT the Chief and Joe Ganim was NOT the mayor. Had this occurred on their watch, you and all the trolls like you, would be making a huge deal out of it. Here it is again:

            Joel Gonzalez // Nov 13, 2017 at 11:08 am

            Ron Mackey, objectictive? I’ll speak about whatever I feel, especially when I’m sure I have a better understanding of the issue. Did you read the 2010 Ct. Post article? It smells like a cover-up by police to protect Aaron Kearney ( relative of cops) in the murder of Daron Green in 2010. Was Aaron Kearney the person who was in the back seat when Daron Green was shot? Black people shooting a black man on Blackman Street. That should really concern you, JML, and the NAACP.

      • Jose Reyes

        Mr. Mackey I certainly can be objective because I don’t see everything as black and white because I have something you don’t have sir and that’s integrity. I also don’t hide behind a moniker like some of these folks do. I call them like I see them.

  • Stringfellow

    There are plenty of cops who go about their day to day. The public will not know about them. Because of the actions of one cop or other cops lets not demonize the department as a whole, that would not be fair.

    You have to wonder why Mr. Kearney acted the way he did? A suspended license is hardly a reason to take a fighting stance against an Officer. When did he have the time to call his mother or did she happen to be passing by?

    So what is next,does another cop not stop a car because he or she may be afraid the stop might go sideways? Will the next encounter with a Officer or Officers with a teenager or teenagers end the same?

    Let’s reserve judgement once the IA investigation is done none of us should make up our minds based on a small portion of a video. Where is the rest of it?

  • Joel Gonzalez

    This is a link to the Ct Post story with photos of the Jason Negron shooting incident. On photo 21 of 50, you will see the image of Jason Negron on the ground. The Subaru can also be seen. Take a close look at the driver’s side door of the Subaru and notice that the door is bent forward. I dare say that when the State Police is done with the investigation, it will reveal that at least one officer was standing outside the Subaru with the door open and when Negron reversed, the door hit and dragged the officer or officers.

    As for the Kearney matter, I dare say that the officer will be cleared–she did not use excessive force. Keep in mind that in the case involving the three officers caught on video beating a suspect at Beardsley Park, Officer Higgins was acquitted by a jury despite the video showing him kicking the suspect while handcuffed on the ground.

  • Donald Day

    Joel, you wrote, “Ron Mackey, you and Donald Day have made it clear that you guys didn’t like your bosses at the Fire Deparment back in the days.” The fact is we didn’t like racism and discrimination in the fire service or that people of color were treated differently than our white counterparts. It didn’t matter to us whether the perpetrator of that discrimination was a chief, captain, lieutenant or another firefighter, we deplored this treatment of our people.

    Derek, the gentleman that was stomped in Beardsley Park didn’t deserve what he received because of his past indiscretions and it’s doubtful during this beating he was subjected to if the police that violated his civil rights knew of his past crimes. You just can’t kick a person ass and then go look up their record and then say he deserved it based on his past actions. That’s not only ludicrous, but outrageous. This is a common theme with cops to try and demonize the victims of their brutality and we see this with white juries who buy into this philosophy and acquit white police of their crimes against humanity.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      Donald,
      Pardon my weathered point of view. If a man is know to police for habitual criminal behavior and a life-on-the-installment-plan prison record he shouldn’t be treated with kid gloves. After a while the tehabilitation stops working. If the cops smack him around, eh. He ain’t learning the easy way.

  • Ron Mackey

    Let’s not forget that the last police officer who drove up to incident was a black police officer who jumped out of the car and ran to start kicking the victim on the ground. The issue is about the “blue” and how those in “blue” identify with others in “blue” who are doing something wrong go along to get along.

  • Bob Halstead

    So much for community policing and officer friendly. The cops should give a clinic on gang tackling to the Harding football team! Here’s how you swarm.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    Oh this poor kid !! getting beat up by these thug police officers. What a fucking joke. Lets look at this here is a kid driving an un insured car with a suspended licence and he is responsible for the accident that happened. He gives the cop some BS about his license and suddenly does not want to be arrested or cuffed. This is the same kid that spit in the cops face. Let me ask all of you low class bleeding hearts How would you feel if that was your daughter or your wife whose face he spit in.
    This is a macho trip all of these young punks pull. “I don’t get no respect” They don’t realize give respect get respect. To representative Santiago why dont you come up with a list of laws your community will obey and a list they wont. BTW Screw You and the rest of the Reps that agree with you. Setting yourself up for a run for mayor.

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