‘Three In Three Days’

From Brian Lockhart, CT Post:

As of Sunday afternoon, Mayor Bill Finch, following a U.S. Senate debate at the Klein Memorial Auditorium, had no plans to hold a news conference about the early Saturday murders of Chinese restaurant owner Mi Lin Zhao and 15-year-old Keijahnae “Nu Nu” Robinson.

Then an unidentified man was shot and became the city’s 14th homicide of the year at 1:30 Monday afternoon.

By 5:30 p.m. Finch, Police Chief Joseph Gaudett, City Council members and clergy were gathered before television cameras at police headquarters promising justice for the victims and to work together to secure the city.

“Maybe three’s the charm?” a frustrated Ron Pinciaro, executive director of Fairfield-based Connecticut Against Gun Violence, said a few minutes before the event began.

Bridgeport NAACP President Carolyn Vermont, who also attended, agreed the administration should not have waited until Monday evening.

“Now people are feeling even more a sense of hopelessness, and they need to hear from our mayor and police chief they’re doing everything to hold the crime down and catch the perpetrators,” Vermont said.

Asked afterward about the decision to finally schedule a news conference, Finch said, “It’s three in three days.”

The mayor entered Monday’s somber event with Robinson’s mother, stepmother and other relatives of the young girl, gunned down early Saturday morning on her aunt’s front porch. They had met for about an hour in Finch’s office.

“We are doing everything we can to make sure Nu Nu has not gone in vain, and we will do whatever we can to make Bridgeport a better place,” Finch said, adding later, “We are just about as fed up as you can get with this gun violence.”

Finch spoke about an ongoing partnership with the state and federal authorities, launched in May following the wounding of a preschooler in a crossfire on Bridgeport’s West Side. The effort is modeled on similar initiatives to curb gun violence in New Haven and Hartford.

Finch said the latest meeting between his administration, Michael Lawlor, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s undersecretary of criminal justice police, and other state and federal officials will occur in the city Thursday.

“We are going to be implementing many new tactics,” the mayor said, noting some will remain confidential.

He also appealed to parents and guardians who are aware of a child possessing a firearm.

“You give the chief a confidential call,” Finch said. “Parents, do your job. Call us up.”

Lawlor in a phone interview afterward said he spoke with Finch over the weekend after Saturday’s two homicides. He said the focus is on pooling resources to improve law enforcement intelligence to solve and prevent crimes.

“The process of doing this right is kind of complicated. Every city is different,” Lawlor said. “This is only going to work if it’s tailor-made for Bridgeport. We’re not going to impose anything.”

Although certain enforcement programs are still being developed, Lawlor said the effort has already established a closer working relationship between Bridgeport police and state corrections and juvenile probation officials.

But Robinson’s mother, Dashan, following the news conference, expressed frustration with the progress.

“This happened with somebody else’s kid before it happened to mine,” she said. “Maybe if they did more, we wouldn’t be here for Nu Nu.”

Finch and Gaudett Monday said they believe the three homicides were committed with illegal firearms, and the mayor blamed the federal government for not doing enough to crack down on the problem. It was a theme Finch stuck with throughout the weekend when asked about the shootings–that it is a national problem and Bridgeport is not alone.

“If this Congress had an ounce of courage, they’d stand up to the National Rifle Association and say, ‘Enough is enough’,” Finch said.

The Rev. Moses Mercedes, of Prince of Peace Church, was one of the clergy standing behind Finch and Gaudett.

Mercedes also addressed the room and said the city cannot wait for Congress. He said his own father-in-law was gunned down in New York City in 1975.

“When I went to identify his body, he was number 75 that night,” Mercedes said. “We cannot wait for the government to do something … We ministers, legislators, police and whoever has a conscience have to come together to stop this nonsense.”



  1. I was surprised the other night that I took it as unusual a woman police officer was buying bottles of water at a gas station mart on North Avenue. She was actually making small talk with patrons on her way in and out of the store. Then it struck me what an unusual sight it was to have an officer actually appear human to interact like all the rest of us do, instead of showing up in gangs in reaction to bad events all the time. What this administration is doing surely is not working. The murder rate says it all. Make all the excuses you want about national trends and gun laws but also look at the obvious here in BPT.

  2. Fluckarella // Jul 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Mayor Finch and Chief Gaudett want parents to be more involved in raising their children. Herr Finch wants to keep parents off the Board of Education, and Herr Gaudett wants the kids off the streets.
    They should be talking gun control and more about stopping the drug gangs, starting after school programs, summer job programs and leadership programs in our schools, more Boys and Girls clubs, get the churches back on the streets, start ringing doorbells.
    Who’s running this City, the drug lords?
    Wake the Fuck up Finch!

  3. Stop the marches, shrines and press conferences. Start year-’round schools, shut down White Eagle Halls around the city and institute an aggressive policing policy in crime-ridden areas. Couple this with truant officers and the curfew that’s been bandied about for seven months. Bring in State Police manning checkpoints at the bottoms of exits.

    The Mayor wants to be held accountable for schools then he can start here and stop his pork-barrel BOE charade.

  4. At what point do you hold the police chief accountable? The man was given the job simply because of politics. The Mayor wanted and now has someone at the top who won’t create waves and do what he’s told despite lacking experience and street smarts. As usual in Bridgeport, politics wins and the citizens lose!

  5. Phantom and Grin, you got that right, both the police chief and fire chief are career bench jockeys who are just there because of politics. Finch is now blaming Congress instead of looking at his lack of vision and leadership to do anything, he knows how to take people’s right to vote away from them in Bridgeport for the Board Of Education but is helpless in taking guns off the streets of Bridgeport.

    1. … and the Fire Chief Ruiney is a disabled retiree, collecting over 100K from his City pension, still employed with a current salary well over $100K, after climbing the ladder as an “out of town” slum lord!

      1. BARF, glad you’re back and you are right. Here we have a high school grad who is getting $250,000 a year to run the fire department (same pay for the police chief). Think about it, $500,000 a year for two men who bring nothing to the table but that’s what Mayor Finch wants to spend taxpayer dollars on, for what?

  6. Three KIAs in a row? In New Haven, the Police Chief would be working somewhere else. Now tell me the unions prescribe what the manpower levels will be during certain shifts.

  7. We have all these protests against gun violence and the senseless murdering of our young people and it accomplishes nothing, just the same old rhetoric.
    We had three murders this weekend and the police are getting very, very little help from the community. Without help from the community these murders will go unsolved.
    If people in the community where these murders are taking place are truly mad and want to save their kids they have to come forward. They can call a PD number and give the information to the PD without giving their names. If they don’t help out this will never stop.
    I truly believe the people in the Brooks Street area know who the killers are but are not talking. That’s a shame because the next victim could be one of their relatives.

    1. If you live in Bpt, as I have for many years, you as a resident come to realize how the city actually runs itself, and I don’t think it’s all bad. But I don’t understand how the mayor can put the blame on the parents of the city. It’s ridiculous. It’s obvious the Mayor know nothing about the culture of the city. Just like the residents do not have a clue on the culture of backroom deals in politics. Of course people should come forward and help bring justice but if you do not live in the area you have no clue what goes on there. It’s comical the Mayor’s stance on everything is put the blame on someone else. He just raised our taxes. EARN YOUR MONEY!!! Stop hiring pencil pushers and hire people who do their job!!!

  8. If I remember correctly, the police department had a chief from New York many years ago who had crime down every month and held his commanders accountable for any increase. It’s said he was shipped out because he wouldn’t play nice with the politicians who wanted their way. This guy hides and only surfaces to hold hands for photo ops with the community to please the mayor and has no answers.

  9. Andy Fardy, I agree with you, the community must help the police but we must remember the black community has a different culture with the police because there is a lack of trust and respect. Let me give an example. I have had a number of older women tell me they have reported crimes to the police but the police never come or when they do come those who committed the crime are gone or if the police do come those involved will retaliate against them because they have been confronted by them and have accused and called the police on them. They have told me why should they call the police when the police don’t come and they are scared to call because of retaliation? That lack of trust also comes from the fact they don’t see the police, there are no police who live in their community because most of them are not from Bridgeport or they don’t live in Bridgeport so this is just a job for the police officers.

  10. Ron, I agree with you. The police department has too many cops on special details and too many on the sick lame and lazy list. The board of police commissioners is a rubber stamp for the chief. They should be looking at the sick and injured list and pension off those who can’t return to patrol.
    Ron, these people are 100% correct. The PD does not respond to quality of life issues such as vandalism, stolen cars, suspicious persons and the like. Why is that? It’s because of poor management of resources. We pay six people including the chief approx. $700K to run this department and they have failed miserably. Their programs have taken the street cop out of the neighborhoods and as a result the street cop does not have a clue as to what is going on in his neighborhood. Someone please tell me with crime running wild why we still have a horse patrol? They couldn’t catch a cold. Why do we have cops on bicycles at the park?
    Get these damned cops away from desk jobs and out in the street; you are not going to catch anything behind a desk. These people are also right, when you call the police and no one shows up, after awhile you say screw it.
    What I don’t understand is this is not rocket science, why can’t the management of the PD figure that out?

  11. Here’s what I can tell you. There are cops being wasted watching the checkpoints at the bigger parks. Why you ask? Because Charlie Carroll wants them there just in case someone drives through who doesn’t have a park sticker and didn’t pay to get in. He also wanted all the cops you see riding on scooters along the beach watching the suntanners, sipping water and hiding in the horse barn with the horse patrol. All the while murder is happening on the streets. What a waste of manpower. Everyone at the annex knows about it.

  12. Why is the Mayor blaming parents and the US Congress? How about Gaudett getting more people on the streets walking the beat? The issues the East Side and the entire city are facing can only be changed by our police and city government putting an effective plan into action to take back our streets. Where are the Community Police officers? There is no police presence in the day and far less in the evening and into the late night; 21 patrol cars for a city with so many issues.
    I lived on Brooks Streets for long time and have seen the changes that have deteriorated the East Side community morale. Residents don’t care because the police and city don’t really care because those who represent us have their own agendas to follow.
    The lack of urgency from the Mayor’s office, the Chief of Police and City Council has made perpetrators bolder and show a blatant disregard for life and this city. The residents are disenfranchised with the lack of policing and the cultural insensitivity of the police force which treats them like criminals when they are the victims or witnesses. I have called the police repeatedly about loud music, cars speeding up and down the street, smoking marijuana on their porch and the dispatcher tells me there are 10 calls before mine at 12 AM, 2 AM the noise continues and I have to leave for work at 6 AM. The officer never shows up or when they come my neighbors know where the call is from because the officer tells them who’s calling. Again why don’t our residents speak up? That’s why!
    I pray for those children who have turned to hanging out in the street and gang affiliation. If they have nothing to do that’s where they go. The city does not have resources in place to keep them off the street. The Workplace, Lighthouse youth job funding is cut to nothing and they still can’t even get the ones that exist because city employees and staff members ensure they get the jobs for their kids. How is that helping an inner city child learn responsibility and life skills when those who are placed in positions to advocate and create these programs stick their own in there to reap the benefits?
    Mayor Finch and Chief Gaudett, you and your cronies should be accountable for the city going down the tubes. Programs that work get cut because you can’t muscle them around. Officers who care get shuffled around because they care too much. Where does that leave residents who depend and turn to those you have shunned out of city hall and the PD. Leaving the city, taking their families elsewhere because Bridgeport is so bad and nothing is changing.

  13. Andy Fardy, one woman who is retired and owns her house said she would sit looking out of her window and watch the “drug dealers” set up shop right in front of her home. She saw where they hid their drugs in trash cans if the police drove by. She would call the police and tell them what they were doing, where they were doing it, what they were wearing and where the drugs were. If the police came and questioned the drug dealers and the police did not “see” them do anything after being questioned the drug dealers would threaten the woman and blame her for calling the police. Well needless to say she stopped calling the police.

  14. Ron. it all goes back to accountability. No one is being held accountable for how ineffective the PD has become. The PD is top heavy in supervisors who basically don’t do a damned thing. I will never understand what the hell sergeants do besides make pains in the asses of themselves. I don’t believe they answer calls other than when requested by an officer.
    Where the hell have our council people been while the kids are getting shot and killed? While I don’t think the curfew will work I have to wonder why it has taken two months and it is still not passed. The reason is they are a bunch of self-centered hand-wringing cowards. I feel sorry for that women who tried to help the PD. It’s a sad commentary but you know what, most of these cops including the chief go home to the suburbs and they know their families don’t have to deal with the crap that goes on in Bpt. Maybe if they faced the same things the people of Bridgeport do they would have a different attitude. Maybe.

  15. I firmly believe as of yesterday the PD had no plan on handling the situation that now exists in many of the low-income neighborhoods. If the city and PD management had a plan you can bet they would have told the public something even if it was bullshit.
    Gaudett tells us there has been an increase in street crimes on the Wood Ave area where the restaurant owner was killed but no mention by him that street patrols have been increased. Why? Because the have not been increased.
    Gaudett and the mayor like to mention this special response team called Sett that is sent into high crime areas. How’s that been working, Chief?
    This is not rocket science. Get every able-bodied cop including the political favorites out in the street in high crime areas and make their presence known by using marked cars. I am sick of the hand-wringing candy asses we now have in charge of the city and our security.


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