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.