Police Captain Accused Of Racist Texts Retires

Captain Mark Straubel, a top aide to Police Chief Armando Perez, has announced his retirement following assertions he wrote racist text remarks about another captain that were turned over by a former city police officer who now works for the Stratford Police Department.

From the CT Post:

A memo announcing Straubel’s retirement was distributed in the Police Department and City Councilman Ernest Newton said the chief told him of Straubel’s decision.

… Ken Kubel, a retired Bridgeport police sergeant who now works for the Stratford Police Department, confirmed in July that he had made a complaint against Straubel with OIA in June and as part of that complaint turned over texts that he was not part of and had intercepted.

In one of the texts obtained by Hearst Connecticut Media in late July, Straubel, who is white, allegedly wrote: “I asked (an African-American officer) if he had seen (the film) Planet of the Apes. He said … yes. I asked him if it made him homesick.”

In another text, Straubel stated that he hates African-Americans and hopes for a race war.

“I guess he realized that what he said–he couldn’t justify it,” Newton said Monday. “And there’s no place for that in our police department. I’m sure this sends a message it’s not going to be tolerated.”

Full story here.



  1. Bridgeport should really hire cops that reflect the city population like a 33% white 33% black 33% hispanic. Within the last 2 years I see a lot of BPT cops get in trouble. The chief needs to take blame for this!!! It starts at the top!!!

  2. You’re right Ernie, “there’s no place for that in our police department.” This I’m not so sure about, “I’m sure this sends a message it’s not going to be tolerated.”

    I talked to Ron Bailey yesterday and he told me that the chief knew about that incident in early June, but took no action until informed by IA that retired sergeant Kubel made a complaint. Ernie, this is a severe breakdown in the leadership structure and chief Perez is that leader and as that leader he needs to be held accountable for his lack of action. Like most politicians Chief Perez should take his oath to serve and protect for the good of the residents more than he takes his allegiance to his friends. What about you and the other council members Ernie, who’s your allegiance to?

    1. Don, ALL 20 City Council members allegiance is to Mayor Joe Ganim and DTC Chairman Mario Testa and not the residents because they are ALL scare that Ganim and Mario will find a candidate to primary them instead of endorsing them because the oath they take to serve and protect for the good of the residents comes in second because they ALL want to get reelected without a challenger. If I’m wrong there where are those voices speaking out against injustice and the lack of leadership from the mayor, the police chief and the entire City Council.

      1. RON Mackey First let me set the record clear. I ran for City Council Without the support of my Town Committee, Mario supported James Holloway and Joe Ganmin didn’t support ME The Voters of 139th District did and i was Elected by the people of my District. RON Maybe if you came to council meetings or attend Committee Meetings.Then you would witness for yourself those of us who are trying to make change in OUR CITY!

  3. Below is a letter from the NAACP to the community at large on the subject of White Supremacy. The subject was brought into full light by internet conversation between Captain Straubel and another PD employee whose husband is retired from Bridgeport PD but employed by Stratford PD. The conversations reportedly were known to Chief Perez weeks before it was brought to light.

    The letter was sent to the CT Post and one week later to Only In Bridgeport. Neither source chose to post the letter, each for their own reasons, you may be sure. It is interesting to hear that Captain Straubel was a “competent administrator” in Danny Roach’s eyes. Because Straubel failed to carry out directions by Chief Perez for over 18 months to supply requested material to a monthly Coalition looking for data over time on crimes in the City, racial diversity of the force, etc. Never received the info and Straubel was too busy to return calls. Maybe he resisted helping citizens looking to harmonize diverse interests in the City and assure that all people received equal attention? Competent administrators usually don’t need to carry weapons to do good work. The Letter:

    Greater Bridgeport Branch NAACP
    P.O. Box 287
    Bridgeport, CT 06601

    August 6, 2018

    CT Post – Editor’s Page (FAX)

    Dear Editors:

    Where does “White Supremacy” in the Bridgeport Police Department stand today?

    Piecing together a story line from CT Post and “Only In Bridgeport” web site postings, introduces this week’s outrageous utterances. It appears that an “affair” between two adults receiving City compensation, in very close proximity to the Acting Chief’s office, conducted ‘outrageous’ internet ‘conversations’ that were discovered and reported initially to the Acting Chief. The espousal of “white supremacy” by a Captain who frequently has acted as aide to Acting Chief Perez and previous chiefs indicates a continuing lack of respect and harmony based on skin color within the Police Department. When did the Acting Chief first hear the story and what did he then do?

    Several examples of texts appeared as early as six weeks ago including references to the “N***** Parade”, Planet of the Apes, and “we need a race war”. When did the Chief first hear about and address the racist text? Assuming these examples provide a true and accurate picture of the officer’s state of mind, does he have any business in a uniform pledged to serve “all the people” with the privilege of carrying a weapon which he is free to use? What type of unpredictable risk does he represent to the citizens and taxpayers of Bridgeport? Did the affair within the Department break any Labor rules or directives, Ordinances, or only good judgment? If the Captain does not defend his ‘words’ or, alternatively, deny them outright, why should he be protected, keeping his badge, gun, and pay? Many think he should resign. He can expect due process.

    The NAACP of Greater Bridgeport stands ready to assist individuals and/or the community as a whole in support of civil rights fairly and equally for all people, no matter their color. Community trust is necessary even if the Ganim administration, the Acting Chief and Police Commission do not care about “community policing” as a means to build it. There is no place in our Bridgeport Police Department with its racial history, for expression of “white supremacy” beliefs especially by someone with seniority.


    George Mintz, President, Greater Bridgeport NAACP
    John Marshall Lee, Communications Director, Greater Bridgeport NAACP

      1. Ron M, I do not use Facebook and do not receive that type of communication from him. However, I believe that he may have gone public by mid-June, 2018. You can check with him perhaps for something more specific. Time will tell.

    1. Where is the letter from PT Partners accusing your councilman of racism? He sat by while anti Semitic remarks were said during a meeting he was involved in. In corporate America today he would have lost his COO position at his company. I see a trend here with your councilman JML.

      1. Once again coward, why are you scare to use the your God given name that your mother and father gave you? What anti Semitic remarks and wasn’t Jesus a Jew?

        Matthew 21:12-17
        “Jesus Cleanses the Temple”

        12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 13 He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

        “Jesus drives out the money changers clip from “Gospel of John”

      2. PTPartners was created to offer an opportunity for participation by residents of PT Apartments. It is one of Park City Communities housing properties. PTP would be a genuine opportunity to exercise resident opinions and voices about the issues that concerned them. When hot water is unavailable, or heat does not reach units for days or a hole in the roof allows water to come into apartments for one year or more…those types of problems that do not get routinely addressed it seems.

        I met one of the visionaries for this group, Kate Kelly, and though I provided no specific service such as healthcare, job program, legal resource on housing matters, I had been a founding member of Black Rock Neighborhood Revitalization Zone (BRNRZ) 10 years ago and felt that meeting and communicating with all of the people in Black Rock geographically would be a good thing. I asked NRZ whether I could play that role and have tried to do so for nearly five years.

        I do not know of a letter from PT Partners as a body with any charges against any Council person. Perhaps you are referring to notes typed by one person at a meeting? Were these notes treated as Secretary Minutes and distributed to all members for review and approval subsequently? It is true that racism of all kinds has been raised at one or more meetings as an important subject to learn about, understand, discuss and out. I also believe that a corporation will be careful to deal with the who, what, when, where and why details of an accusation. It will have people who are professional and diligent to whom it assigns investigation or research responsibility. People who are known by something other than a pen name are credible.

        Perhaps you also have future vision. I don’t see the future so I end each posting with TIME WILL TELL. I have no idea whether what you have seen in writing is accurate or just one person’s observation, from their viewpoint alone. Certainly some clarification along multiple lines is due, but it may take a little time.

        The former executive director has modified her role in the past nine months and within the past 30 days has resigned. The surviving co-director has been with the program less than one year. The non-resident Co-Chair stepped down from her position because of other demands from her work with Council of Churches and other commitments to the community. The resident Co-Chair has had work commitments that have kept her away from most monthly Executive Committee and quarterly Advisory Committee meetings. I am Treasurer of the funds that have been provided per grants through recent years, accountable as a liaison between United Way who hold funds and pay them out per plans that have been discussed and approved by the Executive Committee currently.

        Where are we? Providing answers to a person from the community who is fearful, of what, I do not know. I will reference the papers and get back. Perhaps you will gain the courage necessary to discuss these weighty matters. I see no sign of Peter Spain showing disrespect to others based on skin color, religious persuasion, economic situation, etc. Name calling without good facts as evidence seems to have been something that Lennie Grimaldi attended to routinely. To have a pen name, you must be a long time blogger or someone with a job where payback could be harmful to you? Be careful. Your integrity is accountable for your posting. Time will tell.

        1. Jml I find it very hard to believe you were not in the loop or did not know about the letter to councilman Spain. Let me ask you a question the apartment with the leaking roof, is that the one you frequently visit your FWB?

          1. In The City or Incoherent??
            Do you find it very hard to believe me? Why is that? Are you now or have you ever been a resident of PTBarnum Apartments? And how did that work out for you and other residents? Did anyone care whether you got out of there healthy and wise if not wealthy? The only time we read about PT it seems is if there is a shooting or the Annual Alumni picnic. How many alumni set up meaningful activity to help current residents?

            Is there only one unit in PT Barnum with a leaky roof? How quickly do they get fixed? Has PTPartners been part of that process or were secrets kept? And relative to your last question, I will tell you that I likely will find out who you are and have you ask me that question face to face with a couple of others listening in to assure you that you need to get your brains back in your head and your mind out of the gutter. My Mother assured me that “Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt me.” Would you like to visit? Time will tell.

    2. What about this letter below JML. If you are gonna fight the fight, then fight all not just the ones you choose. There is no place for a racist councilman in Bridgeport. See below letter:

      Statement from PT Partners:
      a collaborative of residents of PT Barnum Apartments, staff organizers, and neighbors
      Mission (draft): to confront, expose, and reject structural and institutional racism in the PT Barnum Neighborhood

      PT Partners along with other community members have been notified by Pete Spain, City Council Representative for the 130th District, about his plans to hold a bike rodeo at Claytor School. This rodeo is to address what appears to be the concerns of some of his constituents in Black Rock about youth riding bicycles in the neighborhood. More particularly, this rodeo appears to be framed on the pretext that the bicycle concerns are attributable to the character of children who live at PT Barnum Apartments. This foundational notion is one which PT Partners neither condones nor supports, and in which we will not be involved. In fact, the rodeo appears to be a direct response to ameliorate the racist insinuations against PT children and youth made by several Black Rock residents on social media and in emails–racist insinuations which attack not only the character of PT children, but also, in some instances, threaten them with physical harm.

      Unless and until we can have open and transparent conversations regarding what constitutes racist thinking, our community work will not be aligned. Local community behavior cannot be understood without understanding the larger, global elements of racist framing. The bike concern isn’t simply about children from PT but rather involves everyone in the community. Without each individual in the Black Rock community taking ownership of his or her particular role in the bike concern, the concern is doomed to be perpetuated.

      We believe that the underlying problem and the one to be addressed is the destructive racist framing of PT children that is apparent in many of the posts and emails regarding the kids on bikes in Black Rock. Working as a community, we can make positive, intentional progress in understanding each other and in providing a safe, inclusive neighborhood for our children. In addition, we can join in the global effort to confront and redress racist thinking by calling out the stereotyping and deficit characterizations of Black and Brown people, including the children of PT.

      Consequently, PT Partners believes that addressing the bike concern shouldn’t be consigned to just another rodeo, but rather to open, intentional conversations among residents of the Black Rock community. That’s why we’ve invited Pete Spain and the people posting on the bike topic to join us in a regular, ongoing community dialogue. We intend to pay particular attention to collective examination and understanding of microaggressions (as a consequence of structural and institutional racism) as a macro concern, using local examples:

      Microassaults/Microinsults: This rodeo, stated as “Making our youth feel the excitement, pleasure, and responsibility that comes with riding bikes — safely and with some skill — is important” (Spain e-mail), supports and validates racist positions by:
      Concealing its purpose in addressing PT youth as the source of the problem, as previously stated in several Facebook posts and emails sent by Black Rock constituents and addressed by Pete Spain.
      Concealing the racist core of the rodeo scheme through its failure to identify the origin of the concerns (per the several posts and emails).
      Excluding meaningful conversation and the ongoing meaningful work with neighbors, which will address issues of racism–including but not limited to: white saviorism, systemic racism, institutional racism, and violence against communities of color.

      Microinvalidation: “Special thanks to Officer Sigrist and Captain Roderick Porter and our parents and educators for their important work to bring play into our children’s lives, which boosts exercise, safety, and health for our children and for our community” (Spain e-mail). While seemingly innocuous and supportive, this statement:
      Condones the racist rhetoric of neighbors who live side-by-side with PT youth by validating their assertion that PT youth are problematic and need character adjustment, at the very least because they don’t understand play, exercise, safety, or health.
      Perpetuates a narrative that Black and Brown lives are lesser than that of White people and need the help that only Whiteness can provide (see also White Saviorism, below).
      Questions the character and behavior only of Black and Brown neighborhood children, particularly those from areas south of Ellsworth (“outside” the heart of Black Rock).
      De-centers families as resources for the success for their children.
      Is not community-oriented in that the PT community is characterized as problematic, yet no attempt is made to sit down with the people of that community–a classic tactic among racist practices.

      White Saviorism: This attitude and corresponding behavior allows White people to ignore the complexities of systemic and institutional racism, thereby disallowing the responsibility of White supremacy. It instead gives the responsibility to White liberals to correct or save low-SES POC whom they see as devoid of character and resources; especially due to their lack approximated Whiteness.
      There is no mention of the responsibility and work Whites from Black Rock must do to keep children safe while interacting with their neighbors in Black Rock.
      The rodeo furthers an existing racist narrative of White superiority by bringing in White people to develop the character of Black and Brown youth.

      We invite all who desire to join PT Partners and their collaborators in weekly community conversations about racism and community building that were begun as an alternative to the rodeo suggestion. The conversations began a week ago and will convene going forward every Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. at the Gary Crooks Community Center, 301 Bostwick Avenue.

      To be clear, PT Partners will not participate in Pete Spain’s rodeo for the reasons stated above but looks forward to conciliatory, community building dialogue with all who wish to participate.


      Aronson, B. A. (2017). The White Savior Industrial Complex: A Cultural Studies Analysis of a Teacher Educator, Savior Film, and Future Teachers. Journal of Critical Thought and Praxis, 6(3). Retrieved from https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/jctp/vol6/iss3

      Sue, D. W., Capodilupo, C. M., Torino, G. C., Bucceri, J. M., Holder, A. M. B., Nadal, K. L., & Esquilin, M. (2007). Racial microaggressions in everyday life: Implications for clinical practice. American Psychologist, 62(4), 271-286.

  4. Did anyone hear or read any comments from Mayor Joe Ganim on this issue. I have not seen or heard anything. I may be wrong. Mayor Ganim is supposed to be a major leader in the Bridgeport Community yet he seemed missing-in-action once again. The Board of Police Commusioners were missing in action as well.

  5. Regarding the post from “In the City”, whoever she/he may be:

    Below*** — for all to see — is the e-mail I sent out to appropriate parties regarding the long-planned bicycle rodeo for public school students at Geraldine Claytor School.

    That is the basis for the letter from a few members of PT Partners. That is it. Really.

    It turned out that the rodeo on June 13th included 85 youth from Claytor, Curiale, and Wilbur Cross schools in Bridgeport, CT. The event was a great educational and community success, according to all involved, including the participating kids, their parents and grandparents, teachers, police officers, and those who volunteer their time from sponsoring organizations, including PSEG and Trantolo and Trantolo.

    Believe it or not, it was this 5/23/18 e-mail that prompted the letter above from only a handful of board members of PT Partners. As many know, John Marshall Lee is on the board of PT Partners. He’s served as its treasurer since it began approx 4 years ago. John was never asked to review or approve this letter claiming that my e-mail was something less than respectable and well-intentioned and for the greater good.

    Neither were other board members.

    In fact, the chair of the board of PT Partners at the time replied to me and my e-mail below on the same day, “This is great! I’m grateful to everyone who has planned the event, and those who will be there to lead it, police officers, school officials, parents and volunteers alike. Thanks, Pete.”

    I’m proud that it seems to be, so far, that the rodeo provided safety training and bike helmets to youth, and to have reduced bike issues, as reported by the Bridgeport Police Department at a community safety meeting I attended last week.

    I’m a big believer in biking — as I’ve stated before.

    It turns out so is LeBron James –> The LeBron James Interview About Bicycles ‘It was a way of life,’ says the world’s greatest basketball player. ‘If you had a bike, it was a way to kind of let go and be free.’ https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-lebron-james-interview-about-bicycles-1533561787?mod=e2fb

    I welcome anyone to contact me by e-mail or phone. Thank you. Pete.Spain@bridgeportct.gov 475-225-0082

    From: Spain, Pete [mailto:Pete.Spain@Bridgeportct.gov]
    Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 12:09 PM
    To: The Rev. Cass L. Shaw; liles.m.vanessa@gmail.com; Keonte; Douglas, Steven
    Cc: Steve.Stafstrom@cga.ct.gov; Marilyn.Moore@cga.ct.gov; doranwright@gmail.com; Sigrist, Michael; Porter, Roderick
    Subject: Bike rodeo at Claytor School on June 13th 4 to 6 PM for 4th, 5th, and 6th graders

    Resident Association President Bacon, Dr. Liles, Rev Shaw, and Principal Douglas,

    I hope all’s well.

    I’m happy to notify you that Officer Michael Sigrist of the Bridgeport Police Department, who’s leading a bike rodeo at Cesar Batalla School today, will be collaborating with the Claytor School community and me to plan and hold a bike rodeo at Claytor School for the 4th, 5th, and 6th graders there on Wed June 13 from 4 to 6 PM! A rain-date will be decided soon.

    Bike repairman and former resident, Joe D’Urso, will be on hand to help repair bikes for free (time and materials to be paid from my taxpayer-funded stipend) and to share maintenance tips. Many know Joe from his bike service at the Black Rock Farmers Market.

    Additionally, I have several resident volunteers prepared to assist as needed, under the guidance of Officer Sigrist, the Claytor School community, and Mr. D’Urso.

    Making our youth feel the excitement, pleasure, and responsibility that comes with riding bikes — safely and with some skill — is important.

    Like many others, I have enjoyed bikes since I was a nerdy kid (now a nerdy adult). It was through a bike rodeo at my grade school that I and my school buddies got a greater understanding of the care required in riding and maintaining a bike. This, I later discovered, stayed with all of us and reinforced some good habits.

    Thank you for your time and considerations and for all that you do for our community. Special thanks to Officer Sigrist and Captain Roderick Porter and our parents and educators for their important work to bring play into our children’s lives, which boosts exercise, safety, and health for our children and for our community.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.


    Pete Spain

    City Council Rep for the 130th District

    280 Grovers Avenue

    Bridgeport, CT 06605


    1. Thanks for clarifying what PT Partners was responding to. Racism surrounds us. We need collaborative solutions, not just one ego centric narcissist thinking he can decide how to address a situation. First thing they teach in kindergarten is how to play in a sandbox. Maybe its time for a refresher class.

      1. I came to a meeting where participation in the bike rodeo was discussed. Unfortunately it had become connected in the minds of a view with other bike journeys by youth from the neighborhood perhaps as well as with an auto trip that ended poorly in the neighborhood. So PTPartners declared that they would not participate.

        Despite that I went along, camera in hand, to see what happened. Police, volunteers, bike repair personnel, lots of shirts, helmets, patch kits for tires, etc. handed out. Fun for the kids. People of all colors helping or being helped. And the problem is or was??? Doesn’t it need communication with everyone at the table? As the years go on, the kids from the sandbox may view worlds not contemplated in the sandbox. Structural racism? Does your desire for a refresher class admit to a few words as to what you call “oppression of people of color” by other people of color whose job descriptions indicate that service is to be delivered regardless of race, religion, etc. Perhaps a few words on that, which is what PTP was visioned to attend to where residents would manage more than 50% of the voting rights? Did you know that? Have you been at the table to speak and be heard? Time will tell.


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