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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

BEATING THE WRONG DRUM

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

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ricardo Torres completely lied at the podium and led people to believe he was CT State Police and worked all over the state. He was a DMHAS security guard (which hold police certification) under the State of CT. He said he worked for the "detective services division of the CT State Police?" He completely lied and should be removed immediately. He's angry he was never a real police officer. Detective services in the CT State Police is known as CSP Major Crimes, Central, Eastern and Western Division. A Wal-Mart loss prevention agent has more investigative experience and has used force more than Ricardo Torres ever has, because he never has. He's claiming to be something he is not! For some reason he has an ax to grind with the chief when the chief has done nothing but cooperate with them. Once again your article is spot on. Other news outlets such as the failing Courant should fact check statements that are false such as Torres' statements last night.

Anonymous said...

Great article Kevin. All the more reason Torres needs to go after that act.

Anonymous said...

We the real police officers have nick names for guys like Torres, "wanna be's". He would see more police work one night in Hartford on a ride along with his step son than he's seen in his 26 year career in patrolling mental hospital grounds and hallways. This guy is a joke.

Anonymous said...

State Police should be notified of his misrepresentation of his work for their agency in front of City Council and the audience, which I also personally witnessed. What a fraud.

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

Keep an eye out for more details on Mr. Torres and his "agenda". It should prove interesting when it all comes out

Anonymous said...

Kevin, do you know the approximate yearly cost of having a CPRB? All these parallel investigations that really have no say or bearing. Clowns like Torres purposely trying to stir up problems via falsehoods and agendas. The board is a mess and complete waste of city money, money this city just does not have. I'm sure there's some clause that the city must have a CPRB, but time to cut some of these unnecessary worthless expenditures. The real reason Bronin is replacing them is their previous lack of work, performance and interest.

Anonymous said...

We should've known you were onto him....you are good Mister Brookman. You've done more investigative work through your blog than he's done in his career in mental institution investigations, if he's ever conducted one investigation! You should be appointed to the CPRB, you've done more uncovering HPD police misconduct than he's done on his term on the CPRB. He's obviously not being replaced for doing a great job!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing after hearing Torres' drastically exaggerated experience, he probably thinks he has a shot at being HPD chief. He's also angry experienced retired HPD real officers went to DMHAS and took the sought after positions he was never able to attain. In his mind, he probably really believes he should be the next HPD chief. His experience could possibly land him a retirement job as the Walmart exit door receipt / carriage compliance officer. Walmart loss prevention would be a little to tough for him.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Brookman and all you Anonymous folks:

First & foremost let me say that no one approached me last night, yet here behind the vail of anonymity there are some interesting opinions and statements. Let me help you out by stating a few facts. FEEL FREE TO FACT CHECK!!

ALL DMHAS POLICE OFFICERS are sworn and receive their powers of arrest and authority through STATE POLICE under Connecticut General Statute 29-18

ALL DMHAS POLICE OFFICERS meet P.O.S.T. POLICE OFFICER CERTIFICATION requirements and Section 7-294d of the Connecticut General Statutes, just like every single police officer in our state

In 1985 I Graduated from the CT Police Academy in Meriden PROTECTIVE SERVICES 23rd SESSION. ALL OF OUR INSTRUCTORS WERE FROM CT STATE POLICE

In my day, all those state agency PD's (DMHAS, UCONN, CAPITOL POLICE, DEP...etc) were referred to as the STATE POLICE PROTECTIVE SERVICES DIVISION, that is who I said I worked for. I NEVER SAID DETECTIVE DIVISION.

DMHAS POLICE has many job assignments throughout the state: Hartford, Middletown, New Haven, Newington, Bridgeport, Whiting Forensic. Norwich & Newington closed down years ago. Some are institutions, big & small, some large campus settings, some are a maximum security environment. I got a chance to work at all of them and to patrol the adjacent communities.

As to my training and credentials: I received my first Connecticut P.O.S.T. POLICE INSTRUCTOR CERTIFICATION(#1428)in 2004, my second POLICE INSTRUCTOR CERTIFICATION came in 2007 all of them in instructional areas 306 A, B and C

My agenda Mr Brookman is simple. To help maintain the public's trust in the Hartford Police department and to ensure that citizens have confidence that allegations of abuse of authority or misconduct by officers will be impartially investigated. A task that is very hard to accomplish without TRANSPARENCY and with tough-guy officers who think its OK to stomp and kick on a subdued suspect. As to Chief Rovella, all I can say is that he is a very busy man who I know works hard. The Civilian Police Review Board is looking forward to his return to the level of COMMUNICATION and TRANSPARENCY he gave in 2013.

Last nights public hearing is available thru Hartford Cable Access feel free to fact check what I really said. In closing, I still believe that the majority of officers will do the right thing, even under fire. I hope that some of you will wake up and realize that what was captured on video on the night of June 4, 2016 was WRONG in small-town "Mayberry" and WRONG on the mean streets of Hartford too. Be safe out there and please try to have some RECTITUDE while on the job

Ricardo Torres
Vice Chairman
Hartford Civilian Police Review Board





Anonymous said...

Tough guy officers?? Sounds like a man with a serious chip on his shoulder. So he was a highly paid glorified security guard with police certification, lol. He's definitely upset he didn't have what it takes to be a "real" police officer. He should apply, but he'd obviously fail the psychiatric portion being that angry. There's nothing he could possible contribute to any on-going investigation which he's not part of anyways. Time to ride off Ricardo and make room for new blood. You have a big bark, but a bite like a chihuahua.

Anonymous said...

More garbage. No administration has been nearly as transparent as Rovella's, that should be obvious to everyone. Torres is up to something.

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

2:23PM

you mention a ride along with a "stepson". If Mr. Torres does in fact have a stepson on HPD, could you please contact me privately with a name. You can do that anoymously here with a comment also if you prefer and I won[t post it. Thanks

Christopher Lyons retired Sgt. said...

I'm reading this series of mostly anonymous posts and was struck by the phrase "tough guy officers" written by Mr. Torres although his letter begins as an anonymous poster. He used that term "tough guys" to disparage current officers. A cheap shot at law enforcement by a person also in the profession. But it's tough to compare experiences between an active street officer and someone with arrest powers working in a DHMAS position.

Police work is a hard job, sometimes physically demanding ( have any guy or gal in patrol show their injury files), sometimes dead quiet. Police officers deal with people when they are sometimes in the worst situations of their lives, deal with gang members and felons on a daily basis and more often than not get second guessed about snap decisions they have to make daily. One day a hero the next a zero.

When I was on the street during my career I used force many times and haven't lost any sleep about that. So did officers that I worked with or for. It's part of the job at times and never looks good.

It's just tough hearing criticism from a person who didn't work the streets and from someone who seems to be trying to equate his experience and credentials with men and women who work as police officers in Hartford.

Support your Hartford Police.

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

Well said Chris. I find it hard to believe that any law enforcement professional, no matter what their level of experience, would take cheap shots at HPD, even in their attempt to justify their own career. And lets not forget that the Capitol Police used to also be part of "protective services" when they were under the State police supervision, not too many years ago. I doubt you would ever hear a Capitol Police officer making disparaging remarks about HPD, because they are actually also out on the streets of Hartford and hear day in and day out on their shared radio frequencies what Hartford officers face on every shift, and they are not afraid to assist and backup Hartford Officers on dangerous calls. I would venture to say that many Hartford officers face more gun calls in a single shift than Mr.Torres responded to in his entire career.

If Mr. Torres wants to be of service to the people of Hartford, do it on building a reputation of your own, not tearing down HPD through your less than truthful comments and distortion of the facts and conspiracy theories.

Torres Bread Pudding said...

The hardest part of Torres day at DMHAS, is getting his clients to eat the 12:00 pudding.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ricardo Torres,you and senator "Dick" Blumenthal should swap stories about "STOLEN VALOR" over a cup of coffee someday .

Anonymous said...

Ricardo torres
I work the streets. Yah it sucks, but i like the pay and my family lives well. What is your actual problem? U work in a controlled environment. A mental hospital full of nuts medicated up. Locked doors and probably a ton of staff and on scene meds to juice those zombies up. Come and patrol midnights in the northend. During the summer....I know your paper ego cares so much about grand standing so i will tell you something.
Your little meeting about complaints mean nothing. They have ZERO bearings on my job or my check. This is fact. There is nothing you can do to any officer. No arrest powers. No civil ability. Nothing. You probably could not suspend my library card.
You will be forgotten when the conflict of interest that you have with the department is revealed. So long. Enjoy giving the nuts their cig breaks and dont you worry. I will patrol the streets for a little insignificate wanna be like you.


- patrol man proud defender of justice

Anonymous said...

Torres is completely biased against HPD. Look at his "anonymous" comments in the Burger King incident with Maldonado. Making claims on use of force and racism at HPD. So much for transparency.

246 said...

Sgt. Lyons, best street cop in HPD history, on behalf of all of us street cops at HPD, you could not have summed it up any better than that. You never tell stories about yourself like Torres tries to to. We hear the streets talk along with other officers that worked with you, you are a legend. If we had guys like you today, the streets would not be as bad as they are. Thank you sir.

DHMAS Warrior said...

Did you not know he's a retired tough guy of 26 years, seen it all, done it all, and knows it all. Freaking clown.

Anonymous said...

I'v said this before and I will say it again. It's unfortunate that some have made the creep that was kicked as the poster boy for victimized over zealous police behavior. This criminal was reckless and did much damage. Lives could have been lay during his rage. I don't forgive the officer who kicked him. But don't make this guy into something he is not. It would have been better for all if he had driven the stolen car into a utility pole and died.

Give it a fricken break.

Anonymous said...

Guys such as Torres, who really believes he's a knowledgeable expert regarding police work, use of force, high risk situations, etc etc, having never experienced real life situations, yet held a police certification in a DMHAS security position, are very very dangerous individuals. I'd much rather have a citizen with common sense on the CRPB, than Torres, who lacks the simplest of common sense, and holds a grudge against real cops. Watch your back with this guy fellas.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Torres wouldn't know a real criminal if he punched him in the face. I know several officers that were there, they said the suspect was spitting and did spit directly in one officer's face prior. The other spit directly on an officer in the ambulance who in turn struck him in the face. I personally would've crushed him also I think, but I wasn't in that position. These pcp induced criminals put themselves in that position and in all actuality, are lucky officers used restraint and didn't use lethal force when they were running over cops and ramming police cars. Victims? Far from victims.

Christopher Lyons retired HPD said...

As to Chief Rovella.

The only thing that Mr. Torres said that made any sense was that the Chief was a busy man. Yes he is and in my view doing a fine job with dwindling resources to do the job. The officer shortage is critical and that lack of personnel means that a lot of programs can't be continued or started. Patrol needs to be fully staffed as that Division is the "backbone" of any department. That comes first.

As for the Maldonado Incident, anyone who criticized Officer Maldonado when he was attacked and placed in a headlock in public with no citizens helping him is disgraceful, anonymous or not. That criminal who attacked Officer Maldonado needed a nightstick sandwich and quick because if a person attacks a uniformed police officer on the street then that person is a danger to everyone walking around. That's what our police officers face every day-danger from unbalanced and violent individuals.

But its tough to know that when you are walking the halls in secure environments.

Anonymous said...

Give em Hell Ricardo Torres the community backs you get all these crooked suburnite cops off our streets who think their entitled to be in our communities

Anonymous said...

Call it Karma

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

8:34am

"The community backs you" , are you serious? The community doesn't even know who Ricardo Torres. I consider myself pretty active in our community and I had never even heard of Torres until the uproar this week. I have never seen him at a community meeting, an NRZ meeting, a Council Meeting ( until his attempt at his last stand Tuesday night) or even at a Public Compstat meeting to hear what actually goes on at HPD. Good try, but I think the public support you mention is nonexistent.

Ofc. R.cotto I14 said...

No need for anonymous here, I try not to get involved in my dads business but clearly that hasn't stopped anyone from mentioning me in this blog. I think it's extremely funny that those with the most hateful and angry comments toward him have chosen to remain nameless. Calling him a security guard or fake trooper. At the end of the day maybe he never walked the beat or had to take calls for service but how many of you would be willing to walk to hallways with 44's who are murderers and rapists unarmed knowing what that guys done in the past and if he flips out it just you two. At the end of the day we all wear blue and I'm sure a couple of the people who have commented negatively never did too much street time themselves, maybe even none. Don't mention me in my fathers business and when it comes to BLUE we all have a job to do, no matter what town, city, or facility. Mr. Brookman you don't have to speak to anyone offline to see who I am. Ofc. Richard Cotto I14.

Anonymous said...

Ricardo, it's veil, not VAIL. Thank you. I rest my case.

Know Your Role Jabroni said...

Understandable for you to stand up for your dad Richard. However, he's brought this upon himself, guys haven't just out of the blue spoken on him. He can still do his job with respect and not brag about everything he's claimed to have done at a mental institution. He just needs to know his role and have just a little respect rather than insult the hard working men and women at HPD.

Anonymous said...

Cotto I like you, your a nice guy. Your father brought this on himself. Sometimes it's important to know when to back your brothers and sisters up, and tell your old man to shut his mouth because he doesn't know what he's talking about.

Anonymous said...

Check out #8......great job Hartford. Maybe focus and energy should be put into a different direction? This is horrible......

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ymo7q93xKE&sns=em

Martha Kelly said...

Keep up the good work. Kevin.

Martha Kelly said...

Important controversy. Keep up the good work, Kevin.

Anonymous said...

If all these so called political "leaders," councilwoman / men, activists and board members focused some effort on inner city crime, maybe we wouldn't be fresh at Homicide #6. Or is it actually #7?

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

Number 7, 6 was the 17 year old abuse case , but still being called a homicide