From Tara O’Neill, CT Post:
Body camera footage of an incident city officials say prompted the firing of a 20-year veteran of the Bridgeport police force appears to show the officer grab a woman roughly by the neck and strike her several times on or near her head.
The termination of Richard Cretella, who joined the department in August 2000, was announced in a brief press release from Acting Police Chief Rebeca Garcia on Jan. 19.
“Officer Cretella engaged in inappropriate behavior that is not reflective of the department and will not be condoned or tolerated,” Garcia said in a statement. “It is clear that Officer Cretella engaged in utilizing excessive force during an incident involving a city of Bridgeport resident.”
The city did not release any more information at the time. But more than an hour and a half of footage appears to show a violent interaction between Cretella and an unidentified woman.
Full story here.
A bad apple is generally understood to refer to someone who creates problems for other people, and whose actions or behaviors negatively influence the larger group. The phrase is often interpreted erroneously by implying that a bad apple is not representative of the whole, when in fact the term stems from the larger phrase “one bad apple can spoil the barrel,” which suggests that the negativity is not an isolated incident.
This whole incident leaves to many unanswered question base on what is in this article. There are problems with the body cameras, there are questions on why the police were there in the first place.
The article said, “While awaiting medics, the woman says to Cretella and other officers, “I called you guys to help me,” according to the audio on Officer Joseph Charles’ body camera footage.”
It also said, “At one point, Cretella claims the woman is “playing games” as she sat on the ground. Sgt. Thomas Flaherty asks Cretella if the woman hit her head, to which Cretella replies, “yeah, but she’s fine,” and tries to get the woman to her feet.”
“Hold on,” Flaherty says to Cretella. “Wait, wait, wait, wait; wait a second. Hold on.” Let say that Sgt. Thomas Flaherty should be commend for taking leadershipand doing the right thing but I’m not sure about other police officers at the scene. What type of training is the BPD giving to the BPD.
With the state’s new law regarding police transparency, now officers are required by law in Connecticut to intervene in the moment when they see a fellow officer using excessive force. The law was not yet in effect at that time.
*** Fired or forced retirement I wonder? Well another one bites the dust in law enforcement in Bpt. Hopefully more bad apples that either should of never had the job in the first place, have been getting away with other law-less B/S while in the dept. or are just completely stressed out with life’s up & down struggles at home, work, family, alcohol & drugs, etc. Remember, cops are human too & deal with people from all walks of life, most times when their stressing, under the influence, mental break-down’s or need some type of help! Its a very tough job @ times but can be very rewarding too @ times when you’ve once again saved a life, prevented something bad from happening or helped some kids in the community your patrolling! Its the sort of job that can be rewarding @ times, yet dangerous. But it can also be a powerful legal pass towards racism, hate, vindictiveness and abusive behavior @ times too! ***