Police Captain Reassigned For Alleged Racist Texts

Captain Mark Straubel, a top aide to Police Chief Armando Perez, is on administrative leave (with pay) pending assertions he wrote racist text remarks about another captain that were turned over by a former city police officer who now works for the Stratford Police Department.

Statement from Chief Perez:

“In light of the sensitive nature of the allegations, I took swift action and immediately sent the captain home and placed him on administrative leave. I am assured by the office of Internal Affairs that this matter will be fully and thoroughly investigated. If the allegations are found true and accurate, the captain will be appropriately disciplined.”

OIB has reviewed the comments in question and discussed with several former and current officers on background if the comments are consistent with Straubel’s opinions of African Americans.

In the text thread Straubel writes in an exchange with a friend:

“I asked porter if he had seen planet of the apes

He said … yes

I asked him if it made him homesick.”

Presumably, whether the conversation even took place, the remarks were about Captain Roderick Porter, the highest ranking African American in the department.

In the exchange attributed to Straubel he adds “He’s not even marching in the nigger parade but I have to,” a reference to Bridgeport’s Juneteenth Parade, a date that symbolizes the end of slavery for African Americans.

At one point in the thread Straubel’s friend writes “You need to stop drinking.”

The Connecticut Post reports, “Ken Kubel a retired Bridgeport police sergeant who now works for the Stratford Police Department, confirmed that he had made a complaint against Straubel with OIA and as part of that complaint turned over texts that he was not part of and had intercepted. He declined further comment.

Prior to the chief’s action, retired Bridgeport Police Lieutenant Ron Bailey wrote on his Facebook page:

I am so hurt and furious: What I am about to tell you is highly offensive, but you need to know. In mid-June a police officer notified Chief A.J. Perez about a captain from his office who violated some very serious moral issues. The officer then told Chief Perez that this captain had used the “N” word (spelled out) and other derogatory comments about African Americans. I have in my hands copies of what was messaged from this captain in Perez’s office and copied by the complaining officer: The Juneteenth parade was refereed to as the “N” parade, we are a cancer, and one black officer was referenced to the planet of the apes with a pic of an ape. What gets me really PISSED: Chief Perez had this information, and did nothing. He brushed off the officer’s complaint. Are you Kidding Me! To date there has been no transfer order, or any type of action even after Perez was notified by the Office of Internal Affairs as recent as last week. Chief Perez, for the good of the community, please STEP DOWN. Mayor Ganim, he’s your friend, and I get that. But if you continue with this fake chiefs’ search, you too need to be held accountable. To do nothing with something so egregious; that’s a person who has allowed hate to fester and continue. And that’s what was done, NOTHING. NO MORE EXCUSES. God help me …

Rowena White, Mayor Joe Ganim’s director of communications issued this statement:

On July 26, Chief Perez was notified by Internal Affairs that a citizen’s complaint had been filed by a retired police officer against Captain Straubel of the Bridgeport Police Department. Upon notification of the complaint, in accordance with policy and procedure, Chief Perez has relieved the captain of his duties and placed him on administrative leave pursuant to union contract. The matter is currently under investigation with Internal Affairs

“In light of the sensitive nature of the allegations, I took swift action and immediately sent the captain home and placed him on administrative leave,” Perez said Monday. “I am assured by the office of Internal Affairs that this matter will be fully and thoroughly investigated. If the allegations are found true and accurate, the captain will be appropriately disciplined.”

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22 comments

  1. Thank you Ron Bailey for stepping up and bring this to the attention of the Bridgeport Police Chief. There’s no doubt that Police Chief needs to resign now and MayorJoe Ganim needs to act immediately and make the necessary changes and if not because he’s to busy running for governor then the voters must take action.

  2. Wow!! This is disgusting. This is how some officers view the people in the city they work in!!! If the chief new of these allegations and did nothing he needs to resign asap!!

  3. Lennie, you’re holding out. Who was this “friend” of Straubel? Was it another BPT officer? It sounds like it indeed was another officer as he appears to know the officer Straubel was talking about. Is this friend black and why he didn’t report it? Kubel made it clear that he was not part of the text conversation for some reason.

    “OIB has reviewed the comments in question and discussed with several former and current officers on background if the comments are consistent with Straubel’s opinions of African Americans.”

    So, one of the former officer you talked to was Ron Bailey– That’s a no-brain er to me. What was the response you got from those you talked to Lennie? You better tell us or next time I see you driving around Bridgeport I’m gonna pull you over and taser your butt.

    There are some clues here and I’m digesting them and making some logic of it. “Presumably, whether the conversation even took place, the remarks were about Captain Roderick Porter, the highest ranking African American in the department.”

    Lennie, the remarks? It looks and sounds as if it was a conversation via text between Porter and Captain Mark Straubel.

    I asked porter if he had seen planet of the apes

    He said…yes

    I asked him if it made him homesick.”

    Did this really happen? What date did it take place? If it did happen, why didn’t Porter report it? This is actually an old joke. Either way you answer the question yes/no, the question is still the same: Did it make you homesick? This Joke applies to anyone regardless of race or color. Hey Lennie, have you seen Planet of the Apes? Now the N-word used to describe the parade, I’ll leave that to Donald and Ron.

    I can speak from my experience with ken Kubel, he is a gentlemen and a scholar in my book, I’ve had more contact with him in my 10 years as the Janitor (paging Donald Day). Captain Mark Straubel was always busy and I can’t say anything bad about him. But I bet the regular OIB TROLLS will have allot to say.

    1. Joel,
      I understand that the air you breathe in the Police Department increases your sensitivity to wrongdoing and especially provides additional oxygen to pursue investigation on your own. But what about the comments attributed to Captain Straubel….you have nothing to say about them…..are they wrong legally?….are they merely politically incorrect?….are they, if they represent values, inappropriate for someone pledged to serve “all of the people” in a community as diversified as Bridgeport?….

      And Internal Affairs does the research and reports to City Council on candidates for Boards and Commissions. Several such reports have been in order for weeks or months and appear to be complete because of nominations to Public Safety Committee of the City Council. How recent was the material reviewed by Internal Affairs updated for each individual to include spring 2018 behavor? Did Chief Perez add anything he knew regarding behavior putting City personnel at risk to the file of one or more individual that likely would have eliminated this person from current selection? Are there more secrets, held in the Police Department, to protect “those guilty minimally of bad choices” from public approbation? Time will tell.

      1. JML you’re far from the truth: “I understand that the air you breathe in the Police Department increases your sensitivity to wrongdoing and especially provides additional oxygen to pursue investigation on your own.”

        You must walk and drive around with oxygen tanks on your back. How lon have you been doing your own investigations? JML aka Mr. questions. You guys, including Ron Bailey are blind to some facts. Bailey is picking and choosing facts and leaving out a heck of a lot of facts that when taken into consideration, sheds light as to the very delicate situation that Chief AJ Perez had to deal with.

        Let’s see if you and other have the ability to used common sense and perhaps get a deeper sense of what happened and the delicate situation the chief found himself in. Here’s a link to the ct court cases. It shows that on July 3, 2018. Keeneth Kubel file for divorce from his wife Ann Kubel:

        http://civilinquiry.jud.ct.gov/CaseDetail/PublicCaseDetail.aspx?DocketNo=FBTFA186076406S

        1. Joel,
          You provided some facts already known though kept away from the posting I made, that have nothing to do with the comments made by a white male Captain in the Bridgeport Police Department through social media.

          I asked you to comment on the nature of the comments and see if you deem them inappropriate for a police officer who is pledged to serve all of the people? And your answer? You avoided it to share more of the detail previously not in OIB or the CT Post I assume.

          Why no response, Joel? Was he being clever, sarcastic, just joking, or any of a handful of excuses when someone’s feelings of white superiority overcomes them and must share their real feelings? Or were lips loosened by some form of alcohol or drug situation?

          The role of a Police Chief is to daily have the ability to deal with complicated, difficult, and delicate situations. They may even take a bit longer to solve than a couple days. When multiple instances of a racist viewpoint are shared, coming in print and apparently undenied, he needs to act. So also might we expect to hear from the Police Commission about standards to be maintained by all public servants, whether in a compensated role or as a volunteer.

          I believe that you are freelancing your posting here rather than fulfilling any new duties assigned to you by Public Safety authorities? Time will tell.

  4. Joel, he is good guy and the captain’s reprehensible behavior isn’t something you can say something bad about? Got it, protect your janitors job because God forbid you have an opinion that casts a white police officer in a negative light because they may not like you, right?

    This white captain and the BPD is just a Microcosm of America and no one should be surprised by his vile hateful comments, but concerned that he felt comfortable with writing these vile things to another person who by the way had the morals and values that Captain Straubel lacked.

    What is almost as reprehensible as the vile hateful comments by Captain Straubel is the actions or non-action of Chief Perez who had the complaint submitted by the other officer and did absolutely nothing. His friendship with the bigoted captain was more important than doing the job his was sworn to do and this is a reflection of his ability to do this job on a temporary or permanent basis. This also calls into question Mayor Ganim’s judgement because he chose Petez over a police chief that tested, passed that exam and was chosen as the chief, again because he was his boy like Captain Straubel was the boy of the chief. Protect your friends at all costs right Mayor Ganim, right Chief Perez?

  5. The Post article said, “Police Chief Armando Perez’s top aide, Captain Mark Straubel, was placed on administrative leave Monday following accusations the aide sent racist texts regarding another officer, Straube has played an integral part in the running of the police department including writing grant applications. During media interviews, Perez often turns to Straubel for information on department operations.” The Bridgeport Police command structure is corrupt from the top and one must wonder how far down the chain of command does this racist mindset goes.

    Retired Bridgeport Police Lieutenant Ron Bailey wrote on his Facebook page:

    “I am so hurt and furious: What I am about to tell you is highly offensive, but you need to know. In mid-June a police officer notified Chief A.J. Perez about a captain from his office who violated some very serious moral issues. The officer then told Chief Perez that this captain had used the “N” word (spelled out) and other derogatory comments about African Americans. I have in my hands copies of what was messaged from this captain in Perez’s office and copied by the complaining officer: The Juneteenth parade was refereed to as the “N” parade, we are a cancer, and one black officer was referenced to the planet of the apes with a pic of an ape. What gets me really PISSED: Chief Perez had this information, and did nothing. He brushed off the officer’s complaint. Are you Kidding Me! To date there has been no transfer order, or any type of action even after Perez was notified by the Office of Internal Affairs as recent as last week. Chief Perez, for the good of the community, please STEP DOWN.”

    Again, in MID-JUNE a police officer notified Chief A.J. Perez about a captain from his office who violated some very serious moral issues but Chief Perez waited to the end of July to act and governor Ganim, I mean Joe Ganim is silent and he’s running around Bridgeport telling blacks how good he’s been to blacks. but he along with his people chief have no problem with Captain Mark Straubel comments and I’m sure that this isn’t the first time Captain Mark Straubel has spoken like that. Perez must go for doing nothing.

  6. This news story reminds me of the fact that there is an ongoing review of candidates for “permanent” rather than “acting” Police Chief. The consultant had work to do in gathering and vetting candidates, but the Mayor was going to choose folks to serve and select a smaller number from whom he would make the final call. Wasn’t that the way it was to work. What happened to those activities in the month of July that ends today? Time will tell.

    1. JML, I can assure you these type of issues are NOT in this new testing company exam because their other clients in testing for police and fire in other cities do not have the racial makeup and the population size of the largest city in the state. The whole testing system is flawed and the City Council doesn’t say a word or ask any questions, they just go along to get along.

  7. *** As far as handling this current incident with this Capt. the chief has apparently gone through the proper channels. Now after the investigation is done, we shall see what the chiefs final legal decisions will be! As for past incidents & weather Perez over-looked them, this should be looked into by order of the Mayor & dealt with if proved to be true by the Mayor. This incident & past ones if proven could eliminate Perez as the present & future chief if proven true! *** As JML would say, time will tell, no? ***

  8. Very depressing stuff… Hard to believe that things are still at that level in Bridgeport… It’s something that you might expect when looking at news archives from the early 60’s… (Can’t automatically assume assertions are true — but it would be pretty wild for somebody to contrive this type of sick stuff… But we can still hope that it’s a false, grudge-related smear tactic, or something along those lines… It will be terrible if it turns out to be true…) If there is really that type of racial animus between high-ranking officers in the BPD, then the citizens of Bridgeport have a lot more to worry about than just our neighborhood drug gangs and their arsenals…

  9. We shouldn’t be surprised by this. I never had a problem with Straubel when I was on the job but he should know better. Trust there are others in high ranking positions who are worse but they aren’t stupid enough to send out text messages on their phones and if they do it’s only to their other racists buddies. Unfortunately Chief Perez has surrounded himself with some of these individuals. Some are top earners every year.

  10. Jose, good point and again Chief Perez knew about this incident since mid-June according to Room Bailey who had this story on his Facebook page since mid-June and here we are in August and now Chief Perez has placed Straubel on administrative leave with pay. This man is at the top of the police command structure, what the hell is going on here? There is no sense of outrage or even concern from the Bridgeport Police Commission (Danny Roach) the City Council members and Mayor Joe Ganim. Let’s be real, Ganim and Perez need this story to disappear until after the primary. Perez wants the permeant position of police chief so needs a way to water down the incident and slap Straubel on the wrist. There needs to be a independent police review board to get to the bottom of this incident. There was a Special Master assigned to monitor the racial problems in the police department but the got rid of it. Federal Judge TF Daly put the Special Master in place because of the history of discrimination all throughout the entire police department, well racism has raised it’s ugly head again.

  11. Brother Mackey I beg to differ with you regarding your last sentence, “racism has raised its ugly head again. The fact is racism in the BPD has never left the police department it just went underground until the Guardian’s got rid of the Special Master. Now the stench of racism is once again permeating the BPD.

    Now it’s time to take out the trash and the city should start with the Captain, the Chief for allowing this behavior to continue unabated and Mayor Ganim for appointing the Chief just because he wouldn’t turn on him when he was arrested.

  12. Chief Perez is a clueless incompetent leader. Just the other day he ordered a police officer to be reinstated to active duty after serving a suspension.
    What Perez did not know and this baffles me is that this officer had been arrested for assault among other things and was standing trial on the charges he was arrested for.
    Perez rescinded his reinstatement of this officer who was then suspended.
    Perez and his deputies dont seem to know what is going on in their own department. Its time to get rid of all of the upper management of the PD

  13. The public should not only expect to hear from the Police Commission about standards to be maintained by all public servants, whether in a compensated role or as a volunteer,but also hear from Mayor Ganim and the City Council as well.

    Mayor Ganim as the CEO of the City of Bridgeport and the Bridgeport City Council as the entity that will vote on the new chiefs contract has an obligation to speak to the nature of these ugly actions by the captain as well as the inaction of the Police Chief.

    1. Don, I guess we will have to start calling out City Council members by name, Ernie Newton, you are the most experience Council member and Pete Spain you are one of the newest Council members, where do you two guys stand?

  14. *** This type of Blue Line backing weather with management or regular line officers has been a part of the Bpt. P.D for decades & longer. Its not till it affects one of there own either by gender, race or religion & sometimes “Benjamins”; that the in-house issues are brought to lite & the public tax paying citizens get a glimpse into the internal daily struggles, etc.. in the Bpt. P.D! ***

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