Video Shows Cop Hitting Suspect In Head With Gun

From Tara O’Neill and Brian Lockhart, CT Post

An officer who has been on the Bridgeport police force since late 2016 has been placed on administrative leave after he was caught on video hitting a suspect in the back of the head Friday night with his department-issue gun.

A Bridgeport police report of the incident identified him as Officer Gianni Capozziello.

Friday night’s incident was the latest involving a police department rocked in recent months by issues involving cops accused of abuse and excessive force.

City Council President Aidee Nieves, who represents the East Side neighborhood where the encounter occurred, in a statement Saturday called it “unacceptable and disturbing.”

Full story here.



  1. They keep bringing these young white suburban males into the city putting then into police uniforms and they aren’t prepared to deal with an urban setting or a diverse populace like Bridgeport. They bring with them all of their bias and bigotry that they grew up with and learned over the course of their lives.

    When I was first hired for the Fire Service all firefighters and police had to be from Bridgeport and both professions were at the top of their game and were quality organizations, some of the best in the State. Councilman Newton, I gave you a proposal that was exactly like that of Hartford which says that ALL Hartford firefighters and police must start out as residents. You promised that you would see that the Hartford proposal would become the Bridgeport proposal, what happened?

    Finally, this incident is a direct result of a lack of quality leadership at the BPD and that falls on the shoulders of Chief Perez who lacks the expertise to do the job evidenced by the fact that Mayor Ganim keeps hiring people from across the country to oversee the police department. The Puerto Rican leadership of the City Council you continue to support Chief Perez because he’s Puerto Rican and not because he’s the best candidate for the job. When are you going to do what’s best for the City and its residents instead of what’s best for your countryman. DO THE RIGHT THING!

    1. AMEN, nothing new here in fact Mayor Ganim and the City Council don’t give y damm. Don, another point Bridgeport hasn’t hire ANY WOMEN in 11 years in the Bridgeport Fire Department and just like this cop beating up a resident Mayor Ganim and the entire City Council don’t give a damn. Don, I told you that Ernie Newton wasn’t going to do anything with that proposal and that he would let David Dunn water it down to nothing. As for Chief AJ Perez, he’s a nice guy but he is out of league as the police chief but Don, Ganim can’t deal with a strong police chief no matter a woman or a man. Without a well run police department and a first rate school system there’s no reason to relocate in Bridgeport.

  2. Unlike the city of Bridgeport…It is a “Written Directive”, that is actually followed, amongst most quality City Governments, Organizations, Businesses, Universities, Fire and Police Departments, and Others that they hire from within and from the immediate community FIRST.

    There are some very good “City Workers” who happen to not be residents of Bridgeport including members of the Police Department.
    Quality City Residents, applicants to any and all Civic Positions- “City Jobs”, should be given the first priority in the selection process and if qualified be hired to fill those positions FIRST. It is common knowledge that a Huge Percentage of workers on the Bpt. City payroll, receiving Overtime and Pensions DO NOT live in or contribute to the City Tax Base. Bad planning, bad leadership, bad financial and moral busting foolishness. THE RIGHT CHANGE IS PROGRESS….

  3. P.S. Just saw Ganim on News12…talking about “More Sensitivity training”. Did they forget to or need to tell an “IDIOT” with a gun and badge “Hey bully, don’t hit people with your gun during a simple traffic stop”. (especially if you are being videotaped)… How much taxpayer funds will be doled out for that lack of, “More Sensitivity Training”?????????

    1. There is more to the “seeming Wild West” approach of too many Bridgeport officers.
      Don, Ron and Bob Hubany talk about the subject raising real issues of training, lived experience in an urban setting, and emotional maturity, but perhaps there is “unofficial policy” or attitude that is observed but not spoken about publicly? (Was Captain Straubel’s internet communication evidence of this which is why research into it stopped suddenly?)
      And what role does Labor Relations in Bridgedport from Fabrizi, to Finch and ultimately to Ganim have in contract language that is never spoken about? And finally how many criminal actions are in motion with current officers? And how many civil matters with huge price tags hang over PD like a “perfect storm”? Can Ganim2 address the subject, item by item? Time will tell.

      1. JML, you asked, “what role does Labor Relations in Bridgedport from Fabrizi, to Finch and ultimately to Ganim have in contract language that is never spoken about?” John Fabrizi was not working in Labor Relations, John was the employees representative on the Civil Service Commission. I must say that John was good at dealing with certain impass and cooling things down in his role on the Civil Service Commission. JLM, David Dunn was working in Labor Relations for years as a independent vendor on negotiations for the City getting paid by the hour so he had no need to move things along, things would get backed up and there was no trust with union leaders in dealing with Dunn. It was Bill Finch would put Dunn in as the unqualified City Personnel Director and Dunn is still there under Joe Ganim. David Dunn has been working for the City for over 40 years and he NEVER PASS ANY EXAM TO WORK IN ANY OF THOE POSITIONS. There’s a old Bridgeport Post article that talks about why then Mayor Tom Bucci hired Dunn again because Dunn knew where the skeletons were in the City. Dunn was rehired by Bucci but what happen to why Dunn had to leave his City position under Mayor John Mandanici? Lennie, you worked at the Post/Telegram maybe you could find out what happened to Dunn?

        1. Ron, Thank you for once again providing some historical background. I mentioned Labor Relations at this time, because we never hear about City policy when contract times approach, are settling, or delayed for years and then settled with payments in arrears. Why is this? Who is responsible day in and day out? Where is the accountability function that increases budgetary expenses for payroll and benefits? Time will tell.

  4. Just another change in attitude as the election gets closer.
    Nothing short of terminating AJ Perez and voting out of office Mayor Joe Ganim will get the BPD headed in the right direction.

  5. I have watched this video to many times to count. This is nothing short of police brutality.
    And again we have the officer suspended WITH pay while AJ Perez promises a full investigation which will take at least three months to complete.
    Oh my goodness. That will be after both elections. Oh well.

  6. The Officers account of the incident he wrote in his police report does not match what he said the suspect did. The cop lied it’s that simple. You can not have an Officer who lies no matter what color they are ,what their ethnic background is or if they were raised in Bridgeport or not.

    Despite the feelings about Ganim and Perez neither were there this is all on Officer Capozziello. He will have to answer for this. I am sure there are some good cops in the department. They go about their business everyday they manage to stay out of the paper. This is just another black eye on the city that it can ill afford to bear.

  7. Wow I’m pro police but this is crazy smh!!!!!!!!! This is why I say hire only Bridgeport residents or more people of color smdh!!! To many cops that don’t look like the community they serve and don’t give a dam about the community they serve. There are great cops in but but there are also 1 to many bad cops in but that make the department look super bad.

  8. Watch the video closely and in slow motion. Put yourself at the angle where the cop is and where the CRIMINAL is as he gets out of the car. Once you understand that angle, really understand that angle, then put yourself where the cop is and you will clearly see that he would not be able to see the CRIMINALS back. Now watch the CRIMINAL who was driving a STOLEN car. Watch his left hand. Watch it again. Then watch it again. Then THINK and LOOK what the CRIMINALS left hand does. It’s reaching slightly behind and to his left side. Position yourself where the cop is and you will realize that the cop CANNOT SEE the CRIMINALS left hand and what he might be reaching for. Run it again until you UNDERSTAND what I have explained. The video looked awful to me as well when I saw it. Then I played it a lot and put myself in the cops position. I was in that position MANY times when I was on the job. It was a long time ago. So when I watched this video I said to myself that cop fucked up royally. Then I watched it over and over. Then I remembered……
    You all think it’s easy. They call it a routine traffic stop. This was NOT a routine traffic stop. This was a felony stop where the cop is told by his dispatcher that the car is STOLEN. What else did the driver of the stolen car do I would think to myself. He shouted out orders to the CRIMINAL who was driving the STOLEN car. His orders were not once complied with. That’s how the court and ANY civilian review board would conclude this investigation.
    People bring up previous incidents. Yeah so what. Let’s see how that turns out as well unless of course the conclusion has been reached with no action based upon the totality if the circumstances.
    I have criticized my own and I have defended my own. I call it as I see it and as it is.
    Heroin found subsequent to arrest. Nice guy.
    If you follow police orders, which by the way IS THE LAW, then usually, nothing bad happens.
    It’s election time. I know what will happen. But at the very end the decision WILL BE that the cop only reacted to a potentially dangerous situation in a manner which at that moment will be deemed explainable.
    My opinion is based solely on this video as it is shown and with the info provided in the story……we’ll see….. more to come I’m sure.

    1. That’s correct. It’s also better than a dead cop killed due to some CRIMINAL. Unfortunately society places more emphasis on a cops mistakes than they do people who break the law. Many cops killed in the line of duty are dead because the may have hesitated and it was the wrong time to hesitate.

      1. Rich…you have had some of the best postings here especially about Testa’s bartender. You have a perspective. I have a perspective. The difference between you and me is that I feel that the presence of a second officer on the scene exactly at the same time. Capozziello and the other officer are extremes in handling the situation. It’s obvious that Capozziello was angry and out of his mind. The other officer displayed proper operations and procedures. Capozziello is a bottle rocket and he’ll just explode again.

    2. Come on people, I know you have a bias towards the cops and their actions. It understandable, Joel listen to what you have said, “Remember the Beardsley Park police beating video? A jury cleared a police officer who clearly kicked the suspect while handcuffed and on the ground. This officer never mentioned the kick in his report.” Just because he got away with it don’t make it right. How much did it cost the city, and what happen to the others cops. @blackprivileg 🙂

      This cop pistol-whipped this criminal because he wanted to, not because he had to, and everybody knows it.

      What comes of it, well that up to the powers-at-be, Joel

      Rich you called it “Unfortunately society places more emphasis on a cops mistakes than they do people who break the law. ” In my humble opinion this wasn’t a mistake though, it was intentional, Well the mistake was it being recorded. The way this cop wrote his report and the body cam footage, we wouldn’t be having this conversation in the public square. What happen to Jayson with that rookie cop was unfortunate mistake that cost a kid his life.

  9. See that’s part of the problem Rich, he didn’t respond quick enough to the cop’s orders and the cop then felt the need to dispense a little back alley justice. As you know after being on the job, that’s part of the program for not doing what I say, when I say it and how I say it. As you cops used to say back in the day, just lump him up a little to send a message.
    You’ll know better next time, RIGHT?

      1. Rich, cops always want a do over, now that they are being filmed they try to make their case by slowing down videos, that takes the drama out of what happen. This officer’s backup was right there looking at what you said and there was nothing. Is that apart of the training to use the back of his pistol to hit someone? Where was the command to put your hands up and walk backwards, both police officers saw everything that happen. Of course you fail to talked about the false police report that was written. Rich a lot of times I agree with you but they are not police issues like this. The residents of Bridgeport don’t have trust with Bridgeport Police Department, yes they have a hard job and a large percent are doing their job the right way but leadership starts from the top, starting with Mayor Ganim a nd Police Chief AJ Perez they have failed the residents and the police officers. The worse decision made was doing away with Federal Judge TF Gilroy Daly’s decision of having a Special Master to monitor the police department.

  10. Please, this is why I say, Day, Ron, even JML to look beyond race (black & white ) when it’s about police abuse. JML brings up the Captain Straubel’s racist texts but nothing about the black officers involvement in that racist letter incident, or the black and Latino cops lying in their reports to cover up white cops abuse at that party. Day says when he was first hired there was no abuse or racism in the police or fire departments and they were profession at the top of their game and were quality organizations, some of the best in the State, OK Tell the the fed lawsuit that place on the department.

    You as a cop will stick up for your brothers and sisters in blue. I get that, just remember don’t get mad at people (common citizens) supporting taking a knee during the national anthem in protest of such acts by police or why there is disdain for the police when they see a video of such acts.

    Yes the kid is a criminal. so was the cop when he assaulted the CRIMINAL. You take about visual angles of the CRIMINAL. Lets take about the CRIMINAL complying the officers commands. At first angle was the CRINIMAL facing the cop with both hands up and was commanded by the cop to turn around and as doing so (with in seconds) demanded the CRIMINAL to get on the ground right before he pistol-whipped him to the ground. To all the officers who say just comply, well this CRIMINAL did and still got pistol-whipped.SJ

    PS the back up officer had a visual angle too.

  11. Come on.
    Ignore the police officer is out of position.
    Ignore the police officer does not pay any attention to his back up.
    Ignore the fact that the police officer was close enough that he used the back of his gun.
    Ignore the fact that there was heroin in the car because the office had no knowledge of the fact.
    Ignore all of the facts and just that he had an adrenaline rush from the chase and felt like the punk deserved it.
    I don’t envy the police officer but ….. it does not give him a badge to inflict physical harm.

  12. Forget about the cop for a minute. Both officers were commanding the driver to do a number of things. He didn’t comply. Was the cop wrong to mau mau the dude? Maybe. Then again, Bridgeport cop have to deal with a lot of scumbags every day, drunk, stoned, in thrall to Jesus, stupid, retarded, just plain imbecilic. What part of “Turn around and face the vehicle” did this kid not understand?

  13. It looks like this Police Officer,Gianni Capozziello,has anger problems. Being a police officer is the wrong profession for him. Much has been written here about what “happened” between Officer Capozziello and the suspect. Not to be doctrinaire,some have called the suspect a criminal. The basis of our American Justice is “innocence until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. “ Some comments here have already prosecuted him. I am aware of the evidence but that is for a jury to decide. What I looked at was the behavior of the OTHER officer who approached the car from the passenger side. His behavior is the standard for these tense,possibly dangerous moments. Officer Gianni Capozziello was just waiting to bust someone in the head. This should make EVERYONE IN THE CITY OF BRIDGEPORT SCAREDEC TO DEATH WHEN APPROACHED BY ANY BPD OFFICER. What a shame.

  14. Derek, you are correct that both of these cops were hollering commands at the kid so whose commands does he follow and is the other cop going to blow his brains out for choosing to follow the commands of the other cop. He’s seen this happen hundreds of times on the news so his fear of police is real and justified.

    Until you become Black you’ll never understand the fear that Blacks feel when stopped by the police. We know that they can and will do anything to us with impunity including shooting us to death. How does this cop know that the person they stopped are
    scumbags, drunk, stoned, in thrall to Jesus, stupid, retarded, just plain imbecilic or just a plain old regular Black person that isn’t a threat to him or anyone else. Being a cop is dangerous and if treating people with respect and dignity all the time is to much for them then they need to get a job in an office. Because you have a dangerous job doesn’t preclude the police from following the rules of law nor should it!

    1. Both cops were yelling the same command: ” Put your hands up, turn around and face the vehicle.”

      In a city that is 1/3 Latino and 12/3 African-American chances are likely the cops will come in contact with black and brown people so you can put that one to bed, Donald. It sounds as if you’re excusing any unlawful behavior this young man may have engaged in. There’s more to this than meets the eye. Wait and see how it plays out.

  15. Rich, “previous incidents” can cut both ways. Remember the Beardsley Park police beating video? A jury cleared a police officer who clearly kicked the suspect while handcuffed and on the ground. This officer never mentioned the kick in his report. All bias aside, I see it the way you see it. Had the officer shot the suspect, he would most likely been cleared considering the dumb moves by the suspect. In a situation like the one we see in the video, there are at least two potential weapons. The most obvious one (half a brain required) is the vehicle reported stolen. There was a reasonable belief that the suspect could have a weapon and the suspects continuos failure to follow instructions or orders made it impossible for anyone to conclude otherwise. In a split- second decision situation, a split head is better than a splattered brain.

  16. Ok..let’s go back to the mayoral campaign that is supposedly happening right now. Marilyn Moore should be on top of this and it is a part of a sequential story of the relationship between A.J Perez(nice guy,Ganim’s good buddy and co-conspirator and CONQUEROR),the BPD that he allegedly is in charge of and the community that is called the City of Bridgeport.

  17. Rich, what type of training did you have for “de-escalation an incident like this one, how often, was the training updated and long was the training? What about the officer filing a false?


Leave a Reply