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Tuesday, September 13, 2011


On Labor Day weekend, I had a couple of stories given to me by sources. One, I thought, was going to be a huge story, it involved arrest warrants that were filed for the arrests of four men who were apparently neighbors of a woman found dead in her Goodrich Street home. The arrest were going to be for burglary charges that the men cleaned out the dead woman's home as she lay dead and decomposing in her house.

I was wrong.

The big story has turned out to be a crazy incident between a Hartford Police Officer and Connecticut's State Treasurer Denise Nappier. It should also be a textbook case of how not to respond to a public relations issue on the part of those involved.

There is more than enough blame and finger pointing to go around, and it is time for all involved to provide some honest answers.

Let's start with HPD. I think if anyone looked at the officer's actions strictly from a clinical, sterile, textbook view, Officer Kidik was operating within the bounds of the state motor vehicle laws. The plates did not come back registered, the paperwork was not in order, the insurance card was either expired or non existent. The big question I have to ask is where was the supervision? This will eventually all play out as the "SIR", special investigation, is completed.

No Sergeant, no Lieutenant and not even a dispatch supervisor perked up when they might have heard the name Denise Nappier or the issue with a State of Connecticut plate? Officer Kidik was well aware of whose vehicle she was towing, I know that for a fact. At what point should common sense have kicked in and just for her own sake, why didn't she notify her supervisor of what was happening? They notify their bosses of far less at times.

And even above the level of her Sergeant, no one noticed this at Jennings Road? Did it really take Hartford State's Attorney Gail Hardy storming into the Chief's Complex to make HPD aware of what had happened. And it makes you wonder how I knew about the incident within minutes after it happened, yet none of the top heavy Command staff had a clue?

And what about Gail Hardy's involvement? When was the last time Ms. Hardy was involved in dismissing a minor traffic stop? Was it just another jab by Hardy at Chief Roberts in their contentious relationship?

And who made the decision not to release the incident report. A report that FOI stated was clearly a public document and the decision not to release it just stinks of a cover up. Eventually when an FOI complaint goes to a hearing the truth may come out. Was it just a ploy on the part of HPD to stall, knowing that FOI is a cumbersome process that doesn't move quickly and when it does, the report would be a dead issue in a year or so?

Who made that call, one of the members of the DKR brain trust sitting on the second floor ? Another one of his loyal Deputy or Assistant Chief's who work daily to undermine him, hoping to be next in line for the third star on their collar? Was it Nancy Mulroy, who should know better, but keeps with the program to keep her job?

And now enter Connecticut's State Treasurer, the honorable Denise Nappier. We are ready for the truth Madame Treasurer, and you might find that people will be supportive if you come clean with the facts. Enough said, but the nonsense being put forth at this point only is raising more suspicion. To blame your treatment on race is an insult to everyone. Put the blame where it really belongs. Like I said before, there is enough finger pointing to go around.

Put some blame on those State agencies that let you down, DMV and DAS seemed to play large roles in this getting to the level it did. If DMV had done their job, it most likely would have ended when Officer Kidik ran your plate and it came back to that vehicle. And what about DAS? If you were able to hand her a valid registration, at the very least, I'm not sure the insurance would have even been an issue.

The other part of your explanation which is very lame, was the reason for the passenger plate. You are given a vehicle as State Treasurer with the "4" plate because you are the State Treasurer. If you want to drive around and not be identified as our State Treasurer, buy a car and drive wherever you want.

I do have to say though, the most disheartening part of your explanation was your claim as to why you used the passenger plate. Because you parked in a handicap spot and got caught, you didn't want people to recognize your vehicle in the future? How about abiding by the same laws the rest of us have to when we park, whether people can identify your car or not?

How about holding a joint press conference and everyone owning up to their part of this mess, put the facts out there, and put this thing to bed once and for all. And to put al of the blame on the police officer is wrong, there were plenty of people well above her pay grade that should be held accountable first.


Anonymous said...

Why should the police officer get any blame? Everyone is equal under the law, including our Dear Leaders, so why call it in at all? Towing cars and ticketing unregistered and uninsured drivers happens literally every single day in this state, why should she be any different? It was unregistered, the plates were wrong, there was no proof of insurance. What is the police officer supposed to do? "Oh well, everything here is screwed up, but I'm going to let you go because you are above the law" ????? Really?

AGAIN: THIS HAPPENS EVERY SINGLE DAY IN THIS STATE! If you think towing a car for this violation is stupid, change the law.

peter brush said...

And what about Gail Hardy's involvement? When was the last time Ms. Hardy was involved in dismissing a minor traffic stop?
It appears this episode will conclude without too much damage inflicted. Wouldn't be surprised if Nappier's insults provoked less than chivalrous behavior. Cops will be cops, and the better part of valor is to shut up, yes sir, no maam... I don't know how knowledge of her status should have affected, if at all, their handling of the situation.
Nappier owes an apology for gratuitous, peremptory, provocative playing of race card. I do suspect that it was race hysteria that caused Hardy to "storm" into HPD. She should apologize as well, for facilitating the suggestion that the cops were discriminating on the basis of race. There is/was no evidence of such. And, even if there were, it seems to me that the State's Atty. generally owes respect to the Department, and should be cautious and discreet in complaining.

Oxy Moron said...

Why was Nappier using a state car for personal use AND chauferring around a friend in said car?

Anonymous said...

One does not have to be in a white neighborhood to be profiled. Anyone living in a poor neighborhood with known illegal activities is profiled as a suspect. Nappier was a suspect because she did not fit in. She was correct to say she is black, in a black poor neighborhood driving a big black car. Had a white person been stopped and said I am White, in a Black neighborhood driving a big White car it’s doubtful that the reporter would have asked if it was racial profiling He might have asked whether it was criminal profiling.

The word profiling has evolved in the minds of many people to define suspicious Black people in White neighborhoods. However, before Blacks attained financial security to move out of poor Black neighborhoods they were profiled in Black impovished neighborhoods and are so today.

The bigger problem overlooked by the police and the bloggers was a lack of homeland security on the eve of 911. If the police suspected that Nappier was an imposter and or that the state car in question was not registered than an alert should have been activated. The car should have been inspected for firearms and Ms. Nappier taken down to the police barracks.

Ms. Nappier would be wise to dismiss your call for a joint press conference. Before you released the police report, she had publically stated that she was not filing a complaint. The innuendos on the blogs are startling and year comment that she should buy and use her personal car misses the point and helps fuel the fire. She cannot put out this fire; it has been burning for hundreds of years.

Anonymous said...

"And it makes you wonder how I knew about the incident within minutes after it happened, yet none of the top heavy Command staff had a clue?"

This comment speaks for the current state of the department. The rank and file have more confidence and trust in you than their own command staff. And your comments about our honorable treasurer are dead on. The whole 2 plate issue should not be allowed. Drive your personal car if you don't want to bring attention to yourself.

Anonymous said...

You missed the point as well regarding use of a personal vehicle. Are you suggesting that people with families and friends in poor black neighborhoods buy two cars, one to drive in the hood and another to drive where they live?

Use of a state car by state officials is a tradition put in place by the majority of white men who were in political office and in the legislature. Interestingly, I do not recall anyone recommending that the car be limited to official use and that the 6-digit plate be eliminated when state officials drove the car to your local tavern, got a ticket or where in an accident on personal time. By the way, state officials pay car taxes on the state vehicle for personal use.

Since you and Kevin apparently believe that the use of a state vehicle on personal time and access to two plates was a mitigating factor in Nappier’s car incident put your money where your mouth is. Get your legislator to submit the legislation eliminating all state cars or limit use of the car. Let’s see if the police stop Nappier in a shining brand new personal car – in the hood of course. You guys love changing the rules when certain people learn to play or are in a position to get the “perk”.

One other suggestion, if you got a problem with state officials going into poor neighborhoods tell the candidates and politicians to stop paying poor people to go in there and get the people's vote on Election Day.