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NAACP Wants Action Against Cops, Gaudett Pledges Thorough And Fair Investigation Into Police Conduct

January 29th, 2013 · 19 Comments · Cops, News and Events

Bridgeport Police Chief Joe Gaudett Monday afternoon met with local and state officials from the NAACP following the release of graphic footage in a video uploaded to YouTube that shows three officers kicking a suspect after he had been felled by a stun gun in Beardsley Park in May of 2011. The city’s Office of Internal Affairs is conducting an investigation into the conduct of police following the arrest of Orlando Lopez-Soto. NAACP officials are urging state and federal law enforcement officials to conduct criminal investigations into police abuse. Lopez-Soto has filed a civil action against the city.

Statement from Gaudett:

“I had a productive and frank conversation with the NAACP. I assured them that a timely, thorough and fair investigation will be conducted. At the same time, it is imperative to provide investigators the time to do their work.”

Statement from Carolyn Vermont, president of Greater Bridgeport NAACP:

“The NAACP is outraged by the behavior of the three officers involved. The suspect was subdued and appeared to not be a threat to the three officers. The officers have been placed on administrative status but that is not sufficient based on what we have viewed on the video. The NAACP demands the immediate termination of employment of the three police officers. NAACP respects the investigative process by Internal Affairs, the US Attorney’s Office and the FBI but we are demanding action now. The NAACP also recognizes that the misconduct of the three officers involved is not reflective of the entire Bridgeport Police Department. However, this type of police misconduct is taking place too often in our community when it should not be happening at all. Sometimes victims are afraid to file a police report as they fear retaliation. Some victims have no proof or witnesses to support their claim. But this particular incident was caught on tape.”

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19 Comments so far ↓

  • Antitestoo

    “Bullies With Badges”
    FBI will likely come in with a few indictments, no?
    Where’s Connecticut’s U.S. Attorney?
    Indictments should serve as a powerful message that we in Bridgeport will not tolerate abuse of power or victimization of civilians by anyone in law enforcement.

  • yahooy

    While I think it’s appropriate for the NAACP to be involved, this is not a matter of racial discrimination. It is purely three bullies with badges they should not have brutalizing a career criminal and scumbag. Cops enforce the law, judges mete out the punishment. Fire all three and fire Gaudett. He knew too much too long ago.

  • Ron Mackey

    yahooy, I disagree somewhat with you. Orlando Lopez-Soto is lucky he is alive. Too many times with incidents like this in America black and brown young men would have been shot with no witness. I don’t see in the news where young white males are treated the same way as Orlando Lopez-Soto.

  • bridgeportnow

    Tonight we air the full length video and take incoming calls, from 8:30pm to 9pm on Bridgeport Now TV, Channel 88. We will also have a lawyer call in to provide an opinion.

  • bridgeportnow

    Earlier, at 8pm, do you know all the great and free programs offered at Bridgeport Public libraries? Tune in to find out on Bridgeport Now TV.

  • Mojo

    *** Strictly “rumor” has it there’s a part 2 pertaining to this “boot & stomp” frenzy that has not yet been released involving more officers and a K-9 dog. Let’s hope what’s been released is the end of it, no? ***

  • yahooy

    Big rumor that something else is coming down the road pertaining to why nothing was done about it when it happened in May 2011. The perp’s lawyer is about to file a whole bunch of lawsuits. So I hear.

  • invincible

    Serves them right! There was no need to kick him. He was already down and clearly he was not trying to get away. On the contrary, he was probably gasping for air.
    Do you know how many individuals have been mistreated by some police officers? A lot! Broken jaws! Black eyes! Thrown to the ground, even when the person had his hands up! Another officer grabs his butt cheeks and says … take a picture of this!

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    “The officers have been placed on administrative status but that is not sufficient based on what we have viewed on the video.”

    Give it a rest, Ms. Vermont. The video tells only a small part of the story. Mr. Lopez-Soto was caught red-handed with narcotics and an unregistered stolen firearm. He also fled after stopping the van, which led to an additional criminal charge of evading police. Cops hate it when suspects run. The police officers in Bridgeport are trained to be confrontational and do not take kindly to their authority being challenged, least of all by street-level drug dealers. So they kicked the shit out of Mr. Lopez-Soto. He pleaded guilty to narcotics and weapons charges and took a five-year sentence for his trouble.

    Cops, prosecutors and judges in this town take an extremely dim view of career criminals, and Orlando Lopez-Soto certainly falls into that category. If it were a first offense he would’ve received a shorter sentence, five years suspended after two followed by a lengthy period of probation. The cops may have thought (with more than a little justification) Mr. Lopez-Soto needed a dose of corporal punishment to “correct his ways.

    • Fluckarella

      Hey TBK,
      The police report was fabricated! Now it is the job of the judge or jury in a court proceeding to determine whether evidence offered as proof is credible.

  • Fluckarella

    You should be a Bridgeport Cop, Kid. I can’t wait to see part 2.

  • yahooy

    Get it through your thick head the ONLY people who can impose punishment are JUDGES. Otherwise these vigilante cops can create havoc in the community. Why do you not understand this???

  • yahooy

    Man gets caught doing a crime, he gets arrested. He resists, he gets forcibly arrested. He threatens with a weapon he gets dead. White … Black … or Brown.

    People should know however, this guy’s ‘jacket’ indicates he is to be considered armed and dangerous based upon his frequent past encounters with the BPD. I don’t blame the cops for aggressively going after this guy. I do not condone beating and kicking him or anyone once they have been placed in restraints. When the cuffs go on the job is over.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      Not quite, yahooy. The cops still have to transport this little drug-dealing geek to Congress Street. I hope they disinfected the police car afterward …

  • Donnyboy

    Isn’t it time for a racist organization such as the NAACP to be disbanded? We have a BLACK president, it’s 2013. Could you imagine the outrage if there were an NAA WHITE People?!?

    • Mojo

      *** No outrage about there being KKK, skinheads, etc. organizations so why a NAAWP? Besides the President is also half white. Also there’s strength in numbers, no? ***

  • bridgeportnow

    Antitestoo, how was the show one-sided?

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