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Friday, August 2, 2019



Can anyone be honest?

Earlier today I posted about the deceptive release of HPD bodycam footage after it was altered by The Tolland County States attorney investigating last weeks officer involved shooting.

Now the deception is continuing, this time by our esteemed Mayor Luke Bronin, and the esteemed part is  sarcasm in case you are wondering.

Bronin apparently put out a campaign ad tonight touting his accomplishments in hiring Police Officers Police Officers everywhere in the ad. Police Officers walking, Police officers standing by a cruiser, a female Police Officer taking a stroll with Bronin.

It is all a shame. Most of the Police Officers were blurred just enough to unrecognizable., but two shots it is clear to anyone that has actually met a Hartford cop and respects the work they do that these are not Hartford Officers. Those are not Hartford Police badges they are wearing. Those aren't even Hartford Police patches on those uniforms. Heck, I don't even think those are HPD issued holsters.

For someone that claims he has done so much for HPD ( besides cut their benefits and slash their contract),isn't it sad he has to hire actors to walk with him posing as Hartford Officers? He probably couldn't find any self respecting Hartford Officer to be used by him and his campaign.

Deception is deception and I guess Luke is losing his deceptive touch, He really screwed up on this one and to the best of my knowledge even the HPD Union was leaning toward endorsing another candidate besides Bronin.

Isn't it interesting that in the ad on facebook at "Luke Bronin for Hartford" Bronin touts the diversity he has brought to the Hartford Police, yet there is not person of color depicted in any of the actors playing Hartford Officer's. Oops.

How low will Luke go to buy the Mayor's Office again. You would think with his million dollar war chest he could have put out a better ad with a Director who pays better attention to critical details

Luke Bronin owes a huge apology to the hard working men and women of the Hartford Police Department for his deception and dishonesty.


As I prepare to write this post, I can't help but think that it may have serious consequences. It is also making  a couple of quotations to keep running through my head as I put my words together. "Oh! What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive" is first, the second is from one of our older Hartford neighbors, Mark Twain "If you always tell the truth, you never have to remember the lies".

You might ask why I am thinking this way on a beautiful  Friday morning. It is because Hartford has the potential of a huge storm brewing on the horizon. I love my City and I don't want to see that storm hit.

The recent Officer involved shooting by the Hartford Police Department hat  the potential to look like a sham and erode the relationships between our Police Department and the community.

That potential loss of confidence has nothing to do with our Police Department, but in the end it will totally be the result of actions by the Tolland County States Attorney and the Office of the Connecticut Chief States Attorney.

By law, the States Attorney takes over any Police Officer Involved Shooting (OIS). It is meant to avoid any appearance of impropriety by removing the investigation from the Department that the officer came from and turning the responsibility over to a States Attorney outside of the district of the Police Department involved and the actual investigation , including evidence gathering and witness interviews are handled by  the Connecticut State Police.

It is a difficult assignment to get all the egos and personalities working together and put their differences aside to gather the facts and get to the truth.  I am being told by sources familiar with the OIS Investigation that is not happening and tempers are flaring with thee old Al Haig mentality and claims that "I'm in charge"

Commissioner James Rovella oversees the Connecticut State Police and is a familiar , trusted name and face to the people  of Hartford. Anyone who knows Commissioner Rovella knows that he is a huge proponent  for transparency and honest and open dialogue with the community he serves.

Tolland County States Attorney Matthew Gedansky appears to be the opposite of Rovella and the perfect storm is being created to potentially strike Hartford unless Chief States Attorney Kevin Kane  begins the storm prep  to head it off.

When I first heard about the issues regarding the release of HPD Body cam footage, and its potential delay, I have to say I was very surprised. From Officer's at the scene that I spoke with and from various media accounts, it seemed like this was clearly a justified shooting.  So why the delay in releasing the footage?

Part of the explanation  from sources familiar with the investigation was that Gedansky was an old school prosecutor and didn't see the need to share anything until his investigation was complete. Gedansky clearly didn't understand the community needs in an urban area like Hartford and he admitted as much to me when I spoke to him by phone on Wednesday.

I am told by sources that the video was released  Tuesday after some intervention by a "higher power" under the gold dome. It is good to see that someone besides Commissioner Rovella understands "community" and the public trust

I had called Gedansky  Wednesday to try to set up a Community meeting to answer questions that I was reading on social media that were becoming more and more inflammatory daily. The main question was regarding whether the full body camera footage was released and had the video been edited in any way.  there were other questions that I thought could be readily explained  and might avoid some problems if explained to community members. Questions such as why didn't they just Taser him instead of shooting him? Why didn't they just shoot and wound him instead of killing him? Why were the audio muted on portions at the beginning of the body cam video?

So when I spoke with SA Gedansky by phone, he readily agreed to attend a community meeting to explain  what he could. I asked him right out if the full body cam footage had been released, I was somewhat surprised when he answered "No". I had been told by another source that Commissioner Rovella was very upset when he found out that Gedansky had taken it upon himself to  edit the video. 

In my phone conversation with him I asked if the video released had been edited. Again I was surprised when Gedansky answered "Yes. the video had been edited". I asked why that was done, and why was no one told up front or at the time it was released that they were getting an edited version and not the full raw video.

Subsequent to that conversation I had a conversation with Commissioner Rovella and he confirmed everything Gedansky told me. Rovella said that the edits were totally at the direction of Gedansky and not in his control. I am also well aware that Commissioner Rovella , Hartford Police Chief Jason Thody and even Mayor Bronin were adamant almost from the  time the crime scene was being secured that is was imperative to release the body cam footage publicly as soon as possible to maintain the public trust and confidence in the process.

This is where I think the choice of Gedansky as the overseer of the investigation is wrong and needs to be reviewed or reassigned by Chief States Attorney Kevin Kane. In my conversations with Gedansky, he readily admitted he didn't understand Hartford or its "inner workings "with the community. He also stated at one point "people in Tolland  trust me"

 Well, Mr. Gedansky, in Hartford, unlike Tolland, that trust needs to be earned and isn't just automatic because you are in a position of authority. I think that is where Commissioner Rovella is critical. Rovella has spent years in Hartford developing those relationships and trust.

I tried to explain to Mr. Gedansky that those relationships that have taken years to build, could be quickly damaged when the community found out that he was being less than truthful in releasing the body cam footage without any disclaimer or explanation that the video had been altered or edited or whatever they want to call it. That is  deceptive and does not exhibit any transpareny and it is a disservice to HPD and the officer's involved if there is a lack of confidence in Gedansky's final report.

In trying to finalize the community meeting with Gedansky, I asked him what the chances were of the community actually being able to see the raw video  of the bodycam footage. His response was "Zero". Gedansky claims he made a promise to "the family". I questioned Gedansky why the "family"  interest carried more weight than the public interest . He just replied he had made a promise to the family when he showed them the video last Saturday and they requested portions be edited out when the video was released.

Apparently there were huge issues this week when Commissioner Rovella was made aware that the video had been edited, SA Gedansky had apparently had State Police technicians edit/alter the video last Sunday. Since I have not seen the raw video, I am not sure what was edited out or how much more it would show, but I doubt very much that community members political leaders or even NAACP members that have had somewhat private viewings would appreciate that they were shown bodycam footage that apparently they were unaware had been edited by Mr. Gedansky and totally at his discretion and at the request of the "family'

Surprisingly, or maybe not surprisingly, I received a call , again from a source familiar with the investigation, yesterday afternoon that Mr. Gedansky was instructed to meet with "the family" today to show them the full video. Wait a minute , I thought Gedansky told me that the edits had occurred after the family watched the full video but now I'm being told today will be the first time they see it? Wait a minute here, someone is not telling the truth.

In the meantime, Chief Thody has to maintain calm in the City after an Officer Involved Shooting, Commisioner Rovella has to expend resources to conduct a thorough investigation by CSP and that could all be an impossible task in the end if no one has confidence in the report,

Mr Gedansky , this is Hartford and unlike Tolland, trust in you and your work is not automatic you need to earn it the old fashioned way, by being transparent and truthful. 

Chief States Attorney Kevin Kane, it is within your power to fix this. Please transfer the investigation to someone that understands Hartford such as the SA from Bridgeport, New Haven or even Waterbury. The public's trust in the process for this and future investigations is imperative

Tuesday, July 30, 2019


Officer involved shootings are never going to go away. Quite honestly, with the number of illegal guns on our streets in the possession of criminals, I am surprised the don't happen more often. Authorities need to learn to handle these shootings much better than they do now though. The investigations are thorough, but the efforts to maintain the public trust are abysmal. These efforts are now managed by the States Attorney's Office.

 Under Connecticut law, the agency involved in the shooting is removed from any conflict of interest and the actual investigation is turned over to the Connecticut State Police and supervised by a States Attorney outside of the Judicial District the town or agency is in. Currently, after Friday's Police shooting the trust in Hartford's Police Department is being questioned.

The ACLU today released a statement raising questions, almost starting like the beginning of a conspiracy theory by Police.  From the ACLU statement "There are still more questions than answers about why Zack Sherry shot and killed Alphonso Zaporta. This entire case, from anonymous sources sharing information about Mr. Zaporta’s past while not specifying why police tried to stop him in the first place, to the lack of audio in the first minute of video, to the consistent unwillingness from local government officials to take responsibility for transparency, has shown that police can not police themselves. The Public deserves better." 

I couldn't agree more, the public deserves better.

 Statements like the ACLU's only fosters mistrust in the Police and is avoidable, First off, the "anonymous sources" are necessary to get information, and that shouldn't be the case. Transparency is not just a word to throw around to make people think you are being honest. You actually have to  be transparent.

That includes releasing pertinent information and facts on a timely basis , and we shouldn't have to be using back door means  to get information to maintain calm in the community. That should be the responsibility of Tolland County States Attorney Matthew Gedansky.

The ACLU's statement is reckless and irresponsible. A Town Hall style meeting held by Mr . Gedansky could and should  answer many of the ACLU's reckless statements in a public and open forum before festering into community unrest. The lack of audio was explained to anyone that took the time to listen or attended meetings on the use of bodycams.

It is not any conspiracy or secretive editing by the Police, it is a safeguard built into the Axon bodycams. Once an officer hits the button on the body cam, there is a one minute recall that goes back to the previous minute even before the recorded incident began so there is at least video. Anyone that requests video of any incident would see that is the case. Go to youtube and do a search for police body cams and all raw video will have that one minute of video without audio. It is nothing HPD or anyone else edited out

A simple explanation, but someone has to take the lead and explain that,  if they really want to be transparent.

The videos themselves are an issue with the ongoing turf wars between the States Attorney, the Connecticut State Police and the agencies involved. But I have to ask why? What will change if the video is released immediately or a year later when the States Attorney finally finishes their review. The video will be the same today as it is a year from now and a year later only raises the suspicions of a coverup instead of releasing it immediately.

Commissioner Rovella is a huge proponent of transparency, and I am pretty confident that he was the driving force behind video being released so quickly in Hamden, Wethersfield and unfortunately now Hartford

I was involved in meetings with, at the time, Chief Rovella after the Flatbush Avenue incident where police abuse was alleged. There was plenty of video, but the Litchfield County States Attorney was overseeing that investigation and refused to release any of the video. So in the meantime the community mistrust grew. Chief Rovella was adamant about the video being released immediately but was stonewalled by the Litchfield States Attorney We called for a public meeting, and that never happened.

Litchfield and Tolland are a world away from the streets of Hartford, and they may not understand community policing and the community trust  that Chief Rovella , Chief Thody and others have worked very hard to build and maintain.

To maintain that trust and confidence Mr. Gedansky should be holding an open forum with the stakeholders and community members in Hartford to answer questions, put fears to rest and offer some reassurance to people in Hartford that this process is legitimate. Mr Gedansky is a public servant and there is no better service he could perform at this time than maintaining the public's trust with actual transparency.

Commissioner Rovella, Chief Thody and Mr Gedansky, I urge you to exhibit the transparency you talk about and put it into action. Hartford residents and the Hartford Police deserve nothing less

Monday, July 29, 2019


Hartford Police Department body worn camera footage of officer involved fatal shooting from Friday July 26, 2019 VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED FOR CONTENT MAY BE DISTURBING TO SOME