Connecticut Cop Fired After Telling Group Of Black And Hispanic Kids He Was 'A Little Trigger-Happy'
"I'm not gonna lie, and I get paid a ton of money in overtime, if I had to shoot somebody. Don’t do anything stupid.”
October 18, 2018 at 7:15 pm
The Hartford Police Department terminated a police officer caught on video threatening a group of Black and Hispanic young men by saying he was "trigger happy."
Following an internal investigation, police Chief David Rosado fired former officer Stephen Barone on Wednesday due to his failure to follow the department's code of conduct, his interaction with the community and racial profiling, reports the Hartford Courant.
"After reviewing the findings related to these two incidents, it’s clear to me that there’s no scenario in which Mr. Barone can return to his duties as a productive member of the Hartford Police Department," Rosado said. "As a department, we are committed to building and rebuilding a strong relationship with residents across our city based on mutual respect, accountability, transparency and a shared desire to live in a strong Hartford.”
According to Fox 61, community members called for Barone's firing after an August video captured his interaction with the men.
“He had a weapon. His badge gave him a lot of authority. And he abused it,” said Abdul Shahid Ansari, president of the Greater Hartford branch of the NAACP and the chair of a police oversight board. “The feeling in the North End was, if he were a person of color, he’d already be terminated.”
Rashawn Johnson, one of the seven people Barone stopped August 9, recorded the incident on his phone. The Hartford Courant reports Barone stopped the men on "quality of life concerns."
He suspected the men may have been involved with a trespassing in the area. During the encounter, he told the men not to run because he was inclined to shoot.
“At this point, you’re all being stopped under suspicion of trespassing," he said that night. "We’re going to get everyone’s information. We’re going to go through and make sure no one has guns or drugs on ‘em, and we’re going to get everyone’s name. If anyone wants to fight or run… I’m a little trigger-happy guys, I’m not gonna lie, and I get paid a ton of money in overtime, if I had to shoot somebody. Don’t do anything stupid.”
He mentioned in the video he had to take control of the situation because the men outnumbered him.
Barone rattled off more incendiary comments including a statement about how wealthy Hartford residents came to poor areas because of their drug habits. The incident wasn't the only one that led to Barone's termination. In July, the ex-officer broke protocol and followed a fleeing vehicle despite being instructed to end the chase, reports Fox 61.
Rosado will now require officers attend community meetings to better engage with residents.
White Woman Calls Cops On Black Man For Yelling Instructions At His Son During Soccer Game
California Officers Involved In Death Of Morehouse Grad Following A Traffic Stop Identified
Michigan Mom Wants 'Justice' After Her 12-Year-Old Is Handcuffed After False 911 Call