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Monday, June 12, 2017

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

This past week on the blog and on Facebook has been very active and a lot has been said about HPD and claims made against specific officers, some good and some bad.

Specifically, people have made comments regarding on retired officer in particular, Sergeant Sean Spell.

One comment said that Spell had 15 citizen complaints made against him. The local media has also made the same claims, but apparently no one went any further to actually look  at the complaints or God forbid, actually explain them.  I guess explanations don't make headlines and sell papers.

You never hear anyone saying that if a Police Officer doesn't have citizen complaints, they probably aren't doing their job very well. Well, let me say it. Any Police Officer that doesn't occasionally have a complaint filed against them isn't doing their job.

Let's put this into perspective. Typically most  contact we have with a police officer doesn't usually evolve into a warm and fuzzy encounter. It may be after an accident, and I don't know anyone that is in a great mood after an accident (especially if you had to wait a couple hours for an Officer to be dispatched. Not their fault, but they get the blame) Or maybe you got a traffic ticket or a parking ticket. Now we all know how we drive, and of course we could never be wrong, the Cop must be overreaching or trying to fill some nonexistent quota.

You hardly ever get pulled over by a cop wanting to give you a coupon to Starbucks for exceptional driving. I think you get my point, it does happen, but most people don't have raving reviews of their Police interaction, so citizen complaints are part of the job. Every complaint is entertained and investigated, no matter how serious or ridiculous, they get the same response.

 So I decided to ask the questions and see how serious those 15 complaints were. So here you go; I am not putting the complainants names though

#1- HPD IAD #200-44 Profane language used by Officer Spell on Barbour Street
                          COMPLAINT WITHDRAWN BY COMPLAINANT

#2- HPD IAD #2006-101- alleged excessive force used at Substation
                           NOT SUSTAINED AFTER INVESTIGATION

#3- HPD IAD #2007-050 Bondsman loitering at HPD, verbal for procedure, no Field Interview Card submitted
                            COMPLAINT NOT SUSTAINED AFTER INVESTIGATION

#4- HPD IAD #2007-050 Wrecker driver claimed discourteous attitude
WITNESSES PRESENT DID NOT CORROBORATE WRECKER  DRIVERS  VERSION
                        COMPLAINT NOT SUSTAINED AFTER INVESTIGATION

#5-HPD IAD #2007-118 Off Duty Altercation
  Complaint Sustained-
                             30 Day Suspension for Conduct Unbecoming an Officer

#6- HPD IAD #2007-139- Harassment complaint
                            EXONERATED AFTER INVESTIGATION

#7-HPD IAD #2008-026 Complaint made by Wethersfield resident who saw Spell leave his personal car idleing in a parking lot while off duty
                                         NO ACTION TAKEN BY HPD

#8-HPD IAD# 2008-048 Complaint against Spell and another Officer after a prisoner attempted to escape from a substation  after a firearms arrest.
                            COMPLAINT NOT SUSTAINED- EXONERATED

#9- HPD IAD #2008-069- Complaint made against numerous officers at 23 Martin Street after incident.
       NO SPECIFIC COMPLAINT IMPLICATING SPELL, BUT  STILL PLACED IN                                                   HIS   FILE

#10- HPD IAD 2008-103  Spell was the supervisor, complaint made against an officer he was supervising

#11  HPD IAD# 2008-161- Citizen approached Spell to report her purse lost, while Spell and other officers were breaking up a melee at Club 960 on Main Street on Christmas then a vehicle being pursued crashed in the same are and complainant felt she wasn't getting proper service during the chaos
                     EXONERATED AFTER INVESTIGATION

#12-  HPD IAD#  2012-073- Stolen car recovered, complainant apparently claimed money was missing from the center console when the vehicle was recovered. Since she knew the thief that took the car, she complained that it had to be Spell and the Chief Inspector from the States Attorney's Office who were responsible.
   COMPLAINT WITHDRAWN AFTER COMPLAINANT "FOUND " THE MISSING MONEY

#13-  HPD IAD#2012-083- Complaint made against 2 Officer's Spell was supervising

#14- HPD IAD #2014-006- Force complaint made after arrest of subject high on PCP
                                     NOT SUSTAINED

#15- HPD IAD #2014-100- Complaint made claiming Spell interfered with a civilian photographer at a Homicide scene on Park Street
                                       
#16-  HPD IAD #2015-074 Complaint made against  Spell and CSP Trooper after arrest of individual who kicked an HPD vehicle during West Indian event
                          EXONERATED BY HPD IAD CIVILIAN INVESTIGATOR

So there is the list, and it is actually 16, not 15. Only one incident concerns me, and Sgt. Spell paid for that error with a 30 day suspension.

Sean Spell is one of many officers that earned every penny they made keeping our City safe and our officers are human beings, and yes occasionally human beings make mistakes. But not everything is as it appears to be made out to be.

The research might take a while to complete, but it is part of being fair.

.








                        

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

So realistically one legit complaint in 20 years, and he was off duty? Put this through or not kevin, but I've known Sean for 20 years. I've seen him on numerous scenes, he was always level headed and fair to both cops and suspects. The 15 or 16 complaints just didn't make sense to me. I also know about his personal life (because I am his friend) and how he adopted a Hispanic male at age 2 and continues to raise and live with the young man who is now 21. This is a good guy who always has done good. Hopefully you post this.

Anonymous said...

The personnel vehicle left running in wethersfield is may favorite. I got a written complaint at elizabeth park during winter because i would not allow little princess to park her vehicle blocking the street so she could go sleeding. Of note. There was 2 feet of snow on each curb side and then she demanded to know why i would not immediately tow the other 10 vehicle parked.
There needs to be a better protocol in place.

Cicero is Foley's Lap Dog said...

The department has even entertained complaints from patients at the Institute of Living. Seriously?!? Rovella is lucky his cops even come to work. The place is an absolute joke. I don't blame anyone from leaving this city or even this state.

Anonymous said...

Yes the one complaint filed by a white guy from the suburbs was the only one substantied interesting

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

12:22pm

Regardless of the race of the person reporting, facts are facts. Could it be that was the only one to be found to be legit. The investigations are all public record if you want to take the time to read them, or is it just easier and less time consuming to put a racial spin on it?

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

11:58am

Your comment aside, I am not sure what the issue is with Lt Cicero. Lt Cicero is and has always been a gentleman and probably one of the most professional commanders at HPD. Cicero is a product of the City and shows it everyday in his love and compassion for Hartford

Anonymous said...

I'd have to agree with you on that one that PD has a long history of injustice and Bull $hit sad story indeed im waiting for it to implode

Bow Wow said...

I took being Foley's lap dog as a compliment!

Anonymous said...

You Mr. Brookman, report what others don't. I've said it once, and I'll say it again. If you charged .99 for an app or even allowed ads, you'd be a millionaire.

Anonymous said...

The one about leaving his personal car idling in wethersfields was hilarious. Spell was a good cop and a great colleague but he could of picked a better time to do what he did. Just sayin.

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

6:12PM

Never a good time to do what he did, but it doesn't erase all of the positive things he did during his time at HPD

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

6:06pm

Thank you. It is not real difficult to get to the truth with a little bit of legwork and a bigger desire to be fair But I guess the truth really doesn't really sell headlines. It is much easier to continue to sensationalize with the $130,000 dollar pensions and the terrible 15 citizen complaints, even if 14 of them were bogus. Continue reading, it may not always be what you want to hear, but at least you know it isn't more fake news

Sam the clam said...

Ok. I get it. Spell is old news. Any more details on the Lt Mertes investigation ? What about the ford tapes ?

Foley is a good man. U cant make chicken saled out of dog poop ....

Anonymous said...

sounds like the guy was a saint. we need more of them and their $130,000 pensions to drive the city into bankruptcy

Anonymous said...

Try again. City pensions didn't put the city in the red. Reckless democratic spending, ridiculous programs and letting every property be tax exempt broke the city. City workers contributed high percentage of pay into pension plan and the fund is vibrant and well funded.

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

It is not police officers and firefighters driving the City into bankruptcy, it is the reckless City Administrations that have been voting on and approving these contracts for the last few decades without any regard as how to sustain them. Now the bill is finally coming due and it is time to pay the piper.

KEVIN BROOKMAN said...

8:50PM

Stand by for more on the Academy LT (at least the former Academy LT), can it be long before the first lawsuit is filed by a recruit who fails because "they felt stressed by her behavior". Some indications are that the kettle of rotten fish may be boiling over very soon on a certain Deputy Chief. I don't know if there actually is a video, but I hear that enough "other" activity has been well documented. I have spoken with people involved or witnesses to the "other" behavior, and their versions are legit an I am more than wiling to listen to anyone else who wishes to contact me in confidence. Stay tuned

Bill Katz said...

I passed by at my NRZ tonight with the intention of offering an idea to HPD, I'm sure it has been discussed. It was too hot and I was to sick so I turned around and went home.

On the issue of the trikes and trail bikes plowing through Hartford with almost impunity, I had an idea that as soon as a call comes in where the groups are gathering, probably already known by HPD. Have a half dozen bikes ready to go with undercover officers drive into the group and at a prearranged signal, each officer could grab at least one rider and bike as uniforms rush in.

It could be done. It should be done. I happen to disagree with the policy of not giving chase. That only makes a bad situation worst. At least with plainclothes dudes pulling up on bikes you would catch them by surprise.

Anonymous said...

9:48 pm , Correct me if I'm wrong but is the "award winning" brownstone overlooking Bushnell park that Luke (Malloy's liar mini me ) and Sara (the overpayed state employee) Bronin own is nearly tax exempt? Luke goes into neighboring towns saying Hartford lacks in collection of property tax ,,,,I wonder why ? I heard that brownstone is assessed a lot lower than it's worth.

Anonymous said...

9:48 pm , Correct me if I'm wrong but is the "award winning" brownstone overlooking Bushnell park that Luke (Malloy's liar mini me ) and Sara (the overpayed state employee) Bronin own is nearly tax exempt? Luke goes into neighboring towns saying Hartford lacks in collection of property tax ,,,,I wonder why ? I heard that brownstone is assessed a lot lower than it's worth.

The Ford video does exist said...

The Ford video is very very real and exists. Sooner than later it will end up in the media. My popcorn is ready!

Love and Hip Hop Hartford said...

I don't believe it. If it did indeed exist, you little cheese eaters would've expedited it to the media. Nice try.

Anonymous said...

You may disagree with the no chase policy. So when one does crash while being chased and dies or is seriously injured, who will back the cop? Spineless Bronin won't. Hartford Politicians such as Minnie Gonzalez and Angel Arce will be the first to push for the cops termination. BLM and moral Monday will come out in force. Not happening in this liberal cop hating state, sorry bud. Better off waiving while they flip you off and continue to Dunkin Donuts.

Sam the clam said...

I dont buy it either. This rumor is about two years old. If it did exist, it would have been leaked. You little haters will try anything to take a cheap after bell punch at the flat liner.

Sting Like a Bee said...

They're all tough guys anonymously behind the keyboard. But put them face to face with Ford in a ring and he'll put a quick Knock Out on any of these little cheese eaters.

Go Grab Your Shinebox said...

True. Mike Tyson was one hell of a fighter but the guy probably couldn't even balance a check book. Hell he could barely talk proper English. Becoming a D/C isn't what you know or what you have done; it's who you know and are you the right color of the day. #facts

Anonymous said...

Just like that guy in booking before he got promoted to SGT? Where's the IA on that?

Anonymous said...

@5:01

Ok, then what happens when one of these bikes strikes someone like one did recently on Paek St, but kills him. Then what. If the law is changed, then the chase has a legal impetus. Do we need a referendum on it. I'll bet that most resident would want the police to give chase.

Ford 1 - Turds 0 said...

Ohhhhh. Good ole Jimbo Rautkawski, numerous domestic arrests. Where the heck is Sam the Clam?

Sunshine State said...

Nice to see Florida Governor Rick Scott is coming to Connecticut next week to recruit businesses to come to business friendly FL. Shouldn't be that hard of a sell, especially for Hartford businesses.

Anonymous said...

Florida is the place to be. Retired traffic sgt got a mansion the size of city hall. No state tax. No motor vehicle tax. Cost of living is about 70 of what u pay up here in this socialist state. Hartford has a minor league ball team. The busnell got a new coat of paint. Hartford is the worst. Im glad governor malloy will show him how to run a state into the red by 5 billion dollars.
Brookman. Time to pack your lunch bag. Hartford is game over.

Anonymous said...

Hartford yardgoats is zero comparison to a red sox game. Fenway is the ford and all you little mice are the yard goats.

Anonymous said...

FL Governor has a lot to offer, including no income tax and low property taxes.
CT Governor has also a lot to offer, including lots of taxes, all kind of taxes, and more new taxes coming up.

Numero 8 said...

Congratulations Mayor Bronin and Governor Malloy. Hartford just ranked #8 in top 50 worst states in the country to live in.

8. Hartford, Connecticut
> Population: 124,014
> Median home value: $159,200
> Poverty rate: 28.3%
> Pct. with at least a bachelor’s degree: 16.9%

Hartford is one of many cities in New England where the population is shrinking as more residents move south in favor of a low cost of living and good job market. With goods and services costing 17 cents more on the dollar in Hartford than they do nationwide, the city is one of the most expensive in the country. Hartford is also tied with Flint, Michigan and Compton, California as the city with the seventh highest unemployment rate. An estimated 10.4% of the Hartford labor force was unemployed in 2015, nearly double the 5.3% national figure. While the U.S. population grew 3.9% in the last five years, Hartford’s population declined by 0.7%.

Hartford’s economic decline has led to widespread crime and poverty. Some 28.3% of Hartford residents live below the poverty line, far more than the 14.7% national poverty rate. There were 1,141 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in Hartford in 2015, one of the worst violent crime rates of any city.

Anonymous said...

Florida politicians back blue.

Anonymous said...

What's the weather like down there JB? Horrible here like usual. Hope your enjoying it!

Anonymous said...

Add a possible bankruptcy to the equation, rest assured the #8 ranking will go to a #1 ranking. Being the capitol city, that will be the end of CT and Hartford. Malloy and Bronin had better come up with something.

Anonymous said...

Kev,Here's where the average person makes a mistake,they think politicians have some sort of consequence for incompetent,corrupt and/or stupid behavior while they are in office. What was the consequence for Lowell (create an income tax) Weicker,Jodi (retire in another state)Rell,JOE ( get out of jail and become mayor again)GANIM,John (come out of prison and get a talk show on WTIC) Rowland,Pedro(facilitate the biggest mistake in investing in a baseball stadium)Segarra,Eddie(make a weasel contractor rich and get a "free" kitchen remodel) Perez ,,,,,DO I NEED TO GO ON????? Malloy and a Bronin will not suffer one bit of hardship or embarrassment for their stupidity.

General Grievous said...

I don't have a horse in this race, just calling it based on what I read. When the city is going underwater, and cops are retiring on hugely excessive $129,977 pensions, by gaming the rules with massive overtime, and $80K unused sick time payoff, the sympathy factor for Hartford finances hits ZERO. Removing overtime from pension calculation is a complete no brainer, and sick time should not accumulate like it's a 401K plan. Outrageous.

Maybe then Hartford / Bronin will get a better response on their next begging tour.

Sam the clam said...

How is dusty rendock doing with the mertes 90310 scandal from the academy ?
Rendock needs to get on that grayhound bus to retirement. Its time ......

Anonymous said...

Kev, Have you seen the Hartford firefighters recently? OT season is just starting and they already look like the sleepy bloodhound in the Warner Bros cartoon from months of unlimited OT. I'm sure the money is awesome but I can assure you they are taking time off their lives. Hope the reward vs risk is worth it . On a side note we should all pray for the safety of the members of HFD, lack of sleep is just a small piece of a puzzle that leads to injury or death , the piece that will do you in every time is ,promoting individuals who have no business leading others into burning buildings. After you count your money go look in the mirror at your tired ass face and ask yourself if your capable of accepting the responsibility of keeping others safe AND alive. The desperate decisions being made Hartfords politicians and dept heads will ultimately lead to people getting hurt.

Anonymous said...

at 4:34 AM
I agree with you. How about calling the team the YARD RATS

peter brush said...

Profane language used by Officer Spell on Barbour Street
+++++++++++++++++++
Thanks, Kevin. The reporting of numbers of complaints is by itself often (always?) misleading. Your more complete description of the complaints with outcomes is a public service. And, certainly, as you suggest, to the extent cops have an incentive to avoid ass-aches there is an incentive to do their job with less enthusiastic alacrity. I say we should be grateful to have cops that will even go to bleeping Barbour Street, and especially grateful
if they actually do the job.