Let me say this right up front, police corruption and abuse in any form is wrong, no matter what the reason. Let me also say this, I think I can honestly claim that very few people in Hartford have done more to expose and get the facts on police misconduct in our City than I have. It also seems unusual that many Hartford Police Officers are in my circle of friends because they appreciate what I do.
Just go back and read the archives of this blog to find numerous examples. One example is the police officer who had no problem running around the Foxwoods Casino yelling the "N" word. That one took some work to eventually get the videos and incident reports from the Mashantucket Police, but I finally did and that officer was terminated from HPD. The lobster thief Police Officer was another one. But I get my facts and look at those facts objectively, and try to get the right thing done.
No self respecting police officer condones bad behavior. When I recently posted video of the June 4, 2016 incident I showed it to a few police officers first before I posted it. Not to get their approval, but more to see what their thoughts were. I was surprised that all of the officers urged me to post the video because the behavior was over the top of acceptable force to effect an arrest.
One officer even went so far as to say that those officers that would engage in such behavior were a liability to every good officer that conducts themselves properly and they did not want to be drawn into a mess created by officers that cross the line.
I was somewhat dismayed, and yes aggravated , by the behavior of one Hartford City Councilwoman last night and the audience comments.
I fully understand it is popular to bash all police officers now a days, and it also isn't popular to defend good cops. But where will we be without their efforts and full cooperation with the community?
I said I was dismayed and aggravated by the actions at Monday's Council meeting, not because of what was being said, but more of what was not being said. Not one person acknowledged that the entire investigation into the June 4th incident was started by Chief Rovella and others at HPD after they were clearly concerned by evidence of the potential force used during the arrest. It wasn't a member of the community, it wasn't the arrestee, it was members of the very police department that were questioning the actions of some of their own. That doesn't sound like the makings of a conspiracy or cover-up to me
It was more about creating more mistrust in our police officers by unleashing a phony conspiracy theory that Mayor Bronin and HPD were getting rid of members of the Civilian Police Review Board and trying to portray abuse and corruption as running rampant in HPD..
The fact is that a group of lapdogs that couldn't even make enough noise over the years to get their ranks fully filled, maybe don't have the organizational skills needed to be productive. Why is it that they could find their way to the media, and at least one Councilwoman, when they felt they were being targeted for dismissal, but couldn't use those same means to get moving in a positive direction? Politics pure and simple and politics at its worst.
And where is the complaint on the June 4th incident for the Civilian Review Board to investigate? The answer is that there isn't one. The CPRB is overstepping its bounds and creating an incident to bring relevance to themselves. If there is such a backlog of cases as they claim, then what are they doing to bring justice to the people who have actually taken the time and effort to file complaints with them?
And what authority does the CPRB have to follow through on an investigation? Do they have powers of arrest? Can they file charges above and beyond what the State's Attorney, the Connecticut State Police and potentially HPD Internal affairs can do? The answer is NO.
And as to the issue of the Police Officers who did not volunteer statements during the investigation, go back and read the Constiitution. Although we may not agree with it, Police Officer's do not give up their protection and their Constitutional rights when they accept a badge and a gun.
We should expect our politicians and so called "community leaders" to be doing everything they can to build relationships and trust between our community and the police, not tearing them down