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The Quest For Courage And Control–Billy Chase Shares Views On Video Depicting Cops Kicking Tasered Suspect In Beardsley Park

January 27th, 2013 · 12 Comments · Analysis and Comment, Cops

Billy Chase was a warrior in his day as a Bridgeport police officer. He went where no black man had gone before–infiltrating a faction of the Gambino Crime Family that profited from the drug trade in the city–working undercover for local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. He was the investigator who helped take down the Number One Family, a ruthless drug organization that terrorized the West End in the late 1980s. OIB reached out to Chase, now retired from the force, for his take about the recently surfaced video that shows three city police officers kicking a tasered suspect in Beardsley Park in May of 2011. Full disclosure, I wrote his biography Chased: Alone, Black And Undercover. Chase’s observations follow:

Putting on a badge and gun does not make you God. You are only to enforce the law not judge the individuals you come in contact with while performing your duties. People need to remember police officers are just a representation of your present population, and you’re going to have your good and bad. The problem lies in the individual not the department.

It is almost innate inside of us that we believe good triumphs over evil. After all, isn’t that the way it should be? Come on, we live in a real world and unfortunately these things happen. The key is don’t let it jade your perception of law enforcement and the officers sworn to uphold the law. Most of them are true heroes, ordinary people placed in extraordinary situations.

During my time in law enforcement we did not have tasers as issued equipment, which I feel created more problems than solutions. Whatever happened to communication, verbal communication? Talking a person down in a situation. Seems like those skills are being lost in this era of technology. Did you ever think that may be the problem?

OIB also reached out to several active members of the police department for their observations. One veteran member spoke on the condition of anonymity because department regulations generally do not allow statements without permission from the chief. His comments follow:

I do understand that officers get caught up in the chase but at some point officers have to get a hold of themselves and realize once a person is handcuffed, or gives up, it’s over!

There is no room for beating anyone who is helpless, or not fighting. In my entire years on the job, I never did anything like that. And I have had wars, but in fighting back or to gain control, and always what I did was written in the file and why.

Nothing in that video tells me that any one of those officers were in any way threatened to where they had to do what I saw.

The three officers involved are welcome to contact OIB to share their side of the incident.

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12 Comments so far ↓

  • yahooy

    I wonder if TBK feels like an ignorant twit.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      No sir, I do not. The cops have to deal with scumbags all day long. This worthless puke had a weapon, a firearm. It’s not as if he took a kid’s milk money.

  • Joel Gonzalez

    “During my time in law enforcement we did not have tasers as issued equipment, which I feel created more problems than solutions. Whatever happened to communication, verbal communication? Talking a person down in a situation. Seems like those skills are being lost in this era of technology. Did you ever think that may be the problem?”

    The time Billy Chase is talking about is the mid ’80s. Not only wasn’t the taser around back then. The cell phone with camera, YouTube, the Internet, not even the PC as we know it existed back then. Had it existed during Billy’s days on the force, we might have been able to see Billy in action with the ruthless bunch in the force of those days. You know what I’m talking about: The Ralph Villegas’ on the force back then.

    No. I can see communication on the part of the officers was not the problem here. There was a clear attempt to communicate with the suspect. When a police cruiser is behind you with the lights on and sirens blaring, he or she is trying to communicate to the driver they are following to pull over. How many of us don’t get mad when someone ignores us when we’re talking to them?

    I’m surprised Lennie is actually reaching out to the officers involved. You should have reached out to associates or member of the Number One Family before you released the book. You should consider writing Chased II. I can help you find many of the street players from back in the day. Their story has never been told.

    The officers involved will not be calling you. It looks like the investigators in this matter have a lot of work to do. I’m sure few have picked up on part of the statement from the BPD. Something to the extent that the suspect wasn’t seriously injured–it implies he was injured to some extent.

  • Antitestoo

    Antitestoo // Jan 27, 2013 at 2:20 pm
    “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.

  • Brick

    Of course this video doesn’t show anything relating to what transpired prior to the start of the recording. It also doesn’t show what the idiot being arrested was doing with his hands or what the officers were responding to.

    He obviously was NOT handcuffed!

    These officers have to go into the most dangerous parts of this city and deal with the worst society has to offer. If he had his hand in his pocket, refusing to comply … How would they know he didn’t have a gun or knife or syringe? I think their actions were justified and within reason.

    • Antitestoo

      Brick // Jan 28, 2013 at 9:25 am
      ANSWERS TO OFFICER BRICK’S BULLSHIT COVER-UP STORY
      1. Of course this video doesn’t show anything relating to what transpired prior to the start of the recording. ANSWER: WHO CARES?
      2. It also doesn’t show what the idiot being arrested was doing with his hands or what the officers were responding to. ANSWER: HOW CAN HE MOVE WHILE BEING TASERED AT THE SAME TIME?
      3. He obviously was NOT handcuffed! ANSWER: HE WAS CUFFED, CHECK THE VIDEO AGAIN, OFFICER BRICK! These officers have to go into the most dangerous parts of this city and deal with the worst society has to offer. ANSWER: THAT’S WHAT THEY GET PAID FOR!
      4. If he had his hand in his pocket, refusing to comply … How would they know he didn’t have a gun or knife or syringe? I think their actions were justified and within reason. ANSWER: THAT HIS HANDS WERE CUFFED BEHIND HIS BACK WHILE BEING TASERED, OFFICER BRICK. NOW GO GET YOUR SHINE BOX, OFFICER BRICK!

  • Ron Mackey

    Brick, Brick, let me reply to your comment by posting a comment from CT Taxpayer / Jan. 23, 2013 at 6:13

    The person receiving the beating may have committed a crime and he may have antagonized the police. I’ll even accept the possibility he had tried to escape. However what is evident from the video is he wasn’t even moving when the first two officers began assaulting him. And yes, that was an assault. By the time the third officer arrived, he was not only immobile, but he was also handcuffed.

    The police are given the responsibility of enforcing the laws, not the responsibility of punishing criminals. That’s why we have a court system. These officers did wrong and now they deserve not only discipline by the police department, but by the legal system.

    Let’s look at it another way. What if they had gotten the wrong guy? Even if this guy had a smart mouth, even if he had insulted an officer’s mother or his wife or his daughter, the penalty isn’t a beating. Not in our legal system it isn’t. If I insult someone and he beats me down as a result, I expect him to be arrested and punished through the courts. Why are the police any different?

    I am in total agreement with CT Taxpayer’s comment.

    • Brick

      What I am suggesting is if an officer is responding to a situation relating to an armed individual he/she has the right to take any and all measures to ensure his/her own safety first and foremost.

      This individual was NOT handcuffed during the initial strikes … He’s being handcuffed as the last officer approaches after parking the police car.

      Even being tased, that doesn’t ensure the guy was being compliant. What if his hand was in his pocket still? The cops didn’t know if he had a gun or not and he easily could have maneuvered to take a shot at them. I’m not condoning beating a defenseless person, but my take on the video was the first two officers used reasonable force. The third however gave him an unjustified, albeit deserving, whack at the end.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    The video in question does not capture whatever transpired before the suspect was stunned, cuffed and beaten. According to news sources a handgun was recovered at the scene. He may have tried to commit a robbery or threatened to shoot someone. One thing’s for sure: there are way too many bleeding-heart liberal Monday-morning quarterbacks here. The cops in this town have to deal with scum every day, the type of scum that terrorizes poor neighborhoods in order to protect “turf” they have no legal right to call their own; the type of scum that sells drugs and guns out of housing projects; the type of scum that commits armed robbery and shoots innocent civilians. Has it occurred to anyone the cops involved knew the suspect, had grown tired of arresting him and simply taught him a lesson? They kicked the shit out of him because he earned the privilege.

  • Mojo

    *** Wrong! In the video you can tell after the suspect gets tased he falls to the ground almost in a zombielike state barely moving. At that point the two officers present quickly boot the suspect, then the white officer bends down and cuffs the suspect. After being cuffed and not moving the two officers continue to boot and stomp the suspect on and off, then the third black officer arrives after the suspect is subdued and joins in on the booting! From what’s shown in the short video clip, “EXCESSIVE FORCE” was used and not needed! Regardless of the call type, criminal record, response, possible confrontation and chase, at that point after the suspect is down, subdued and cuffed, “excessive force” was not needed. Meet force with force when needed to control and subdue the situation at hand! Just because you run from the police does not merit an automatic boot and stomp frenzy on anyone in the name of the law! Regardless of all the professional training, as a retired corrections officer who’s dealt with many unsafe, unruly, violent inmates and situations, it’s very easy to lose your emotional control during a bloody rock and roll type of incident especially without the help of tasers, weapons, etc. But in the end that’s what you get trained and paid for; to protect and serve, maintain and control the situation in a professional manner! As humans, that’s not always easy but in the end it’s hopefully what separates the good guys from the bad guys. *** JUSTICE ***

  • yahooy

    The cops were wrong. They are lousy cops. We are a nation of rights. The perp had rights. I’ll assume he was a scumbag … is a scumbag for all I know. If he screwed me over, I’d probably want to taser him and kick his ass. I’m not a cop. I’d be breaking the law. The cops broke a bigger law. They did a lot of damage to the already flaky reputation of the BPD. Cops enforce the law. Judges adjudicate the law. Judges punish, not cops.

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