Bridgeport cops are once again under investigation after video posted to social media showed police officers assaulting a teen Friday night. 18-year-old Aaron Kearney called police in regards to a minor traffic accident he was involved in. Responding officers in turn felt threatened by him so they beat the teen until they felt safe.
Around 9pm Friday night, Kearney called police about the traffic accident. Video posted online revealed that five police officers responding to the call forced Kearney face-first into the hood of his car as Kearney’s mother is screaming, “Don’t hurt my son, don’t hurt my son.” One female officer is seen striking Kearney in the face with her hand while his head is held down by the other officers.
“Get back,” the female police officer yells to the person taking the video. “Or you are next.”
Bridgeport Police Chief Armando Perez said that the officers involved have been placed on administrative status while the Office of Internal Affairs investigates the officers’ actions.
In his statement Sunday afternoon the chief said:
“When it comes to my attention that there are legitimate questions surrounding an officer’s use of force, I place that officer on administrative status. This status removes the officer from contact with the public while the case is expeditiously and vigorously investigated by the Bridgeport Police Office of Internal Affairs. This measure is taken to protect both the officer and the public while the officer is afforded their due process. I have taken this step with the officers involved in the incident Friday night following a motor vehicle accident on Seaview Avenue, some of which was filmed on video and posted to social media.”
Although it was Kearney who called police to report the accident, Kearney was charged with breach of peace and assault on a police officer following the incident. A recent graduate from Harding High School, Kearney had never had any trouble with police according to his family. Ironically, Kearney had attended summits with the police chief in efforts to improve relations between police and the community.
This incident will no doubt taint his perception of local police.
Tiffany Elliot, Kearney’s aunt, said that she believed the female officer used excessive force when dealing with her nephew. Elliott Said she was speaking from experience because her mother is a retired police officer. “She shouldn’t be a police officer anymore, that’s very clear from her actions,” Elliot said.
“I come from a family of police officers so I understand when officers say they feel threatened,” Elliot said. “But this female officer clearly was not being threatened when she beat my nephew.”
Kearney reportedly had a suspended license when he was involved in the accident. After the minor fender bender, Kearney called his mother and when police arrived it was determined he was driving with a suspended license. At some point after multiple officers arrived on the scene, they became threatened by the unarmed teen. The female officer arrived on the scene as backup.
“In the event that an officer is found to have knowingly and willfully violated policy by using excessive force in the performance of their duties, I will make every effort to see that officer separated from their employment with the Bridgeport Police Department and where applicable arrested and charged with a crime,” Perez stated.
My San Antonio writes:
Nov. 9 marked six months since Bridgeport Police Officer James Boulay shot and killed 15-year-old Negron and injured 22-year-old Julian Fyffe. State police said Negron engaged Bridgeport cops in a “brief vehicle pursuit” in a stolen vehicle and “struck at least one” officer.
A state police investigation is ongoing. Boulay is on extended leave.
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