Rosario ‘Profiled’ By Police–‘What Possessed You To Randomly Check My Plates?’

State Rep. Chris Rosario’s state-issued plate. From his Facebook page.

From CT Post reporters Tara O’Neill and Brian Lockhart:

State Rep. Chris Rosario, a prominent local politician and past head of the legislature’s black and Puerto Rican caucus, said he was profiled by a city police officer while attending a friend’s funeral Wednesday night.

“In my heart of hearts I feel 110 percent I got profiled,” Rosario told Hearst Connecticut Media in an interview afterward.

Rosario said he and his wife had just parked his truck in the lot of an East Side funeral home–Funeraria Luz de Paz–for services for “a good, dear friend,” John Romero, who died last week.

… “I wasn’t speeding. I wasn’t doing anything,” Rosario said. “What possessed you to just randomly check my plates after I was parked inside a parking lot?” He added his truck is properly registered and insured.

Full story here.



  1. C’MON MAN, Chris Rosario, you are a man of color who fits the profile, there is no way that you, a man of color could be a elected State Representative. Welcome to America, black and brown men are becoming a endangered species.

  2. Oh please,Officer Franco was just doing his job.Who gives a shit if Rosario is a state legislator,what?,state legislators are immune to getting pulled over??.State legislators drive perfectly all the time??.How do we know that maybe Rosario didn’t swerve reaching for something,how do we know Rosario didn’t use a turn signal??.And Rosario felt so “violated” that he called Perez to complain??..Please….The officers weren’t being confrontational,they got wrong info,if Rosario didn’t act like a pompous fool the situation would have been straightened out eventually.Rosario should be thanking the officers for doing there job,instead he is angry that they “dare’ question him??..Pompous fool.

    p.s…I know Don&Ron are going to make this a racist thing like they do everything else,how about instead,Officer Franco was just doing his job.

  3. Not later than January 1, 2000, each municipal police department and the Department of Public Safety shall adopt a written policy that prohibits the stopping, detention or search of any person when such action is solely motivated by considerations of race, color, ethnicity, age, gender or sexual orientation, and the action would constitute a violation of the civil rights of the person.

    It was the spring of 1996 and Alvin Penn, an African American state senator from Bridgeport, was stopped by a white police officer in neighboring Trumbull that had an all-white police department. The cop interrogated Penn about his location.

    “I asked why I was being stopped and why I needed to be aware of which town I was in. I wanted to know what difference that made,” Penn had said in describing the situation. “He told me he didn’t have to give a reason for stopping me and said if I made an issue of it he would give me a ticket for speeding.”

    Alvin Penn was one of those guys who had the ability to make friends fast. Gregarious, quick-witted, an unforgettable cackling laugh. He also was not bashful about voicing an opinion. The police stoppage that day led to the passage in 1999 of an act carrying his name, one that has bombarded the airwaves in light of four East Haven police officers charged by federal authorities with violating the civil rights of Latinos, followed by the bizarre response of the city’s taco-talking mayor.

    Penn was not groomed by the city’s African American political establishment. When Penn entered the scene 30 years ago Charlie Tisdale was both the organizational and public leader. In 1983 Tisdale became the first African American to win the nomination for mayor of a major party in the city. Tisdale was a commanding presence, smart, opinionated, the best singular political organizer in the city. He had directed (and still does) the city’s anti-poverty agency Action for Bridgeport Community Development, worked for Jimmy Carter’s presidential administration and then began building an organization to become mayor. He came close in 1983, the year he won a multi-candidate Democratic primary loaded with a bunch of white guys who split the vote when white voters still dominated registration and turnout. Tisdale lost the general election in a close contest to Republican incumbent Mayor Lenny Paoletta.

    With Tisdale in the race, African American campaign workers were hard to come by in that 1983 primary. Tom Bucci, who would become mayor in 1985, reminisced about that 1983 primary and his meager African American support. “I had Alvin.”

    Penn was not a major political player in 1983. He had landed work with the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce where he built relationships with the city’s business community. He also aspired to political office. Alvin ran for several local offices unsuccessfully. In 1991, he lost a City Council seat in a primary by the thinnest of margins. What now?

    While Tisdale had been the highest profile African American figure in the city, it was Margaret Morton who changed city politics forever when she knocked off State Senator Sal DePiano in a Democratic primary in 1980. That nice, but mentally strong, funeral home director had buried the city’s political establishment from ever again dictating its candidate for State Senate. The game changed. When Margaret decided to retire in 1992 it was Alvin who replaced her. It was almost as though Alvin losing that council seat so narrowly made him the sympathetic choice. But, as well, Alvin had invested time in city politics.

    Alvin received the oath of office for State Senate in January of 1993. As a state senator he fought passionately for casino gaming for the city when the casino bill was voted down in 1995, lobbied his peers for more state dough for the city and moolah for the ballpark and arena at Harbor Yard. Alvin could be stubborn too. He just about single-handedly denied a tardy lottery winner millions after legislators wanted to award the man the money even though he was just three days late from the deadline to claim the dough. How could Alvin be so cold-hearted, so stubborn? If I support this they’ll say I did it because the guy was black, Alvin defended.

    The Alvin Penn Act, however, is Penn’s legacy. The debate has started: the act must be enforced, the act needs to be tougher. If Penn were still among us, he passed away in February of 2003, he’d be leading the charge.

  4. Harvey, really man? I read this article and I didn’t see any reason to invoke my name. The fact that you say Ron and I will make this racist gives me pause that you too might see a racist tone in this situation.

    Could a white cop from the suburbs view a special plate on a vehicle driven by a driver of color and assume that it must be stolen so I’m going to run the plates? What other rational explanation could there be for running his plates? Harvey, contrary to popular beliefs this happens everyday in every city of America to Black and Brown drivers and has lead to many being killed by overzealous white cops! Ron nor I don’t make this racist, America does!

    1. Don,did you see Ron’s first post on this?..He made it a black and white thing…I realize that profiling happens everyday,everywhere.But how do we know that was the case this time??..Perez himself said Franco is a fine officer.Rosario should be ashamed of himself for suggesting this was profiling.Rosario comes off as insulted he was being checked out,who the hell is he to act like he did? He called Perez?? obnoxious…

      About 10 years ago,I was driving down Helen st,a black officer pulled me over to ask why I was driving around that area,saying it was a known drug area.I told him I was on my way to Boston ave from East Main st,he told me to stay out of the area if “I don’t want to keep getting questioned”..imagine that??

      1. Harvey, you just don’t get it, that police officer was looking out for your best interest. I was stationed at Firehouse 10 on Putnam St when the City had those Jersey barriers in that area because of the Latin Kings and the drug dealings and that was back in the 1990’s, the barriers are gone but not the drugs and shooting.

        1. Oh,ok,so when a black person gets puled over in a “white” area it’s profiling..but when a white person gets puleed over in a ‘black” area,the officer is looking out for me..

  5. As far as I know there are towns with plate reader computer cars that get hits if a reg. is expired or car is stolen ect., something that { I’m guessing } is done by hand in Bridgeport??
    Plate came up stolen, Franco was doing his job.

  6. Chris Rosario has a good point. What was the issue that caused a BPD officer to run his plates? There doesn’t appear to be a “lawful” reason for it.

    It appears Chris Rosario was racially profiled.

    However, calling Chief Perez is all about leveraging his elected office. Elected officials shouldn’t leverage their position or their relationships with high level officials. If the average guy getting pulled over can’t call Chief Perez on his cellphone neither should any high level official.

    It’s like saying “do you know who I am?”

  7. Very interesting! As a Former State Senator, and Former Representative it happen to me twices. The Stratford Police stop me on my way to burlington coat factory. I gave the officer my License and registration he comes back to asked me was i the late Senator Penn. This was around the time Senator Penn was stopped in Fairfield. The another occasion happen when i was on my way up to Hartford for session. A state trooper stopped me. He asked me who’s car was i driving after giving him my driver License and Registration he saw my Legislative plates.
    I happen to be serving on the appropriation Committee. I spoke to Representative Bill Dyson we Cut a million dollars from the state police. The CMSR came up to apology. Its a shame !

  8. Harvey, I did indeed read Ron’s post and for the most part I concur with all of his observations. Profiling by its very nature is racism, pure and simple. Anytime a white cop stops a Black driver and wouldn’t or have never stopped a white person for the same offense it’s racism, pure and simple.
    Harvey your incident was ten years ago yet it still resonates in your mind and memory and I’m sure that it offended your sensibilities that a cop would think of you as a drug buyer just because you drove through a certain neighborhood! Now multiply that by 1000 and you have what Black men go through everywhere they drive, walk or stand when they are confronted by a white cop. In order not to get arrested or worse killed, you are expected to take a subservient position! Profiling is wrong, immoral, unjust and racist irrespective of whether it’s done by a white cop or a black cop. You can consider yourself lucky that being white man, there are very few places where you would appear enough out of place to get profiled by a Black cop, yet for me a Black man, the places where I won’t be profiled are far, few and in between. I’ll trade with you anytime my friend!

  9. Looks like Rosario took this a step further,had a press conference this morning and Joe apologized to him,what’s next,is Rosario going to demand officer Franco be suspended or fired for having the gall to question him?. Maybe Perez should send out a memo,” no matter what, Rosario is off limits, he’s NOT to be pulled over or questioned at any time”.Maybe Bpt should have a “Chris Rosario Day” this summer, give him the key to the city to help smooth this over.

  10. Another Snowflake. There is nothing special about you Chris. Just a cop doing his job. Grow up and get over it.
    Go back to Hartford and try to represent the people of Bridgeport! Remember, that’s what you were elected to do. Get over yourself. LOL Only in Bridgeport!


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