Video Sparks Hamden Call For Civilian Review Board

Six members of the Hamden Legislative Council released a joint statement Wednesday evening calling for a police civilian review board in response to a Hamden’s body-cam video that allegedly shows misconduct by the officer.

On Tuesday evening, WTNH aired a report by Mario Boone that included footage from a police officer’s body-cam that shows an officer making an arrest last February. The officer both threatened to call ICE and to shoot the suspect if he did something he was not told.

Mayor Curt Leng issued a statement a few hours after the report aired on Tuesday evening.

Like Leng, the members of the Legislative Council who signed the statement Wednesday denounced the officer’s actions, and also called for the creation of the Civilian Review Board to review alleged police misconduct. After years of debate, New Haven lawmakers voted last month to create a new, strengthened version of what had become a dormant CRB.

The Hamden statement reads as follows:

“The Hamden police officer’s body-cam footage acquired by WTNH shows actions and words that are disgraceful and unacceptable. The police violated policies that our community entrusts the police to enforce and follow. A Civilian Review Board would hold the Police Department accountable and prevent incidents like this from happening.

“As of last night, the officers involved in the video remain on active duty. These actions must be taken seriously. The threat of ICE involvement is in direct opposition to the arrangements we have been assured exist in Hamden. We must work together to ensure Hamden is and remains a sanctuary for our community.

“The acting Chief has issued a statement assuring residents that the HPD will do an internal investigation. The sergeant’s name must be released immediately. The results of this investigation and associated punishments must be made public. Public trust and confidence requires transparency.”

Jody Clouse, 1st District Councilwoman

Harry Gagliardi, 2nd District Councilman

Athena Gary, 3rd District Councilwoman

Justin Farmer, 5th District Councilman

Brad Macdowall, 9th District Councilman

Lauren Garrett, At-Large Councilwoman

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posted by: The Sleeping Giant on February 7, 2019  10:21am

What an overreaction to a dumb comment from a member of the PD when the lawbreaker suffered no actual harm or damage?

Parts of Hamden, particularly, the 3rd district are overrun with individuals with no respect for the law. We, who have to live here, lack a good quality of life. When will Jody Clouse, Harry Gagliardi (what his angle anyway?), Athena Gray, Justin Farmer, Brad Macdowall, and Lauren Garrett begin to advocate for us who want to live peacefully in our neighborhoods, without the threat of physical violence, break-ins, and reckless driving (the type not often seen in some of their neck of the woods)?  Apparently that cannot be their focus because advocating for an independent review board to harass the PD and consequently, protect lawbreakers, is the cause du jour for these so-called progressives. I hope the electorate will remember them when its time to vote.

I urge our leadership in town to address this issue with the PD, the union and the police commission post haste. It is possible to run an effective police department, with tough cops who do not violate people’s civil rights. Cowboys ought to be reprimanded promptly. We don’t need soundbites.

Failure to lead quickly and effectively will lead to inmates looking to run the asylum, creation of new fiefdoms a la a CRB and police taking a hands off approach in OUR neighborhood—not West Woods, not Whitneyville, OUR neighborhood. We do not support officers who discriminate and we do want our PD to be effective and will support them in that effort. These ideas are not/cannot be mutually exclusive.

posted by: missthenighthawks on February 7, 2019  12:21pm

Sleeping Giant - This should come as no surprise. Apparently Hamden is also a sanctuary city like New Haven based on the Towns statement. So, if thats the case, following the party line is expected of your representatives.

posted by: cunningham on February 7, 2019  12:59pm

@The Sleeping Giant

It wasn’t “a dumb comment.” In the video the officer:
1) Uses arguably excessive force on the driver
2) Threatens the driver with lethal force (“If you do something that you’re not told you’re gonna get shot!”)
3) Berates the passenger for not speaking English
4) Threatens to call ICE, in whose custody people have died, and whose job is to deport people, often away from their families, often back to often deadly situations

Explain to me how any of those actions serve the public interest, or make our community any safer? Do you think the driver fled the officer because he disrespects the law, or because he was afraid the police might hurt or threaten to hurt him? Do you think being afraid that his passenger might be deported makes him more or less likely to run from the police? Do you think that threatening people with ICE makes the immigrant community more or less likely to cooperate with police when they can help with an investigation, or when they’re the victim of a crime, or when they’re being pulled over?

Regardless of what the driver did or didn’t do (I won’t defend driving drunk or recklessly), the contents of that tape don’t show an officer protecting the rule of law. They show a bully swinging his d*** around because he thinks he can get away with it. That man has no place on any police force.

posted by: sparrow on February 7, 2019  4:00pm

On behalf of the Immigration & Refugee Task Force of the Unitarian Society of New Haven (in Hamden), I write to support Mayor Curt Leng’s statement reminding us of the importance of Hamden’s adherence to State law and the CT Trust Act.

We also support the call by several members of Hamden’s Legislative Council for the creation of a town Civilian Review Board.

Immigrants are an important part of our social fabric, both here in CT and throughout the country. The immigrant community has often been targeted by police and other law enforcement agencies, and this is the reason for CT’s adoption of the Trust Act in 2014. When local police stop acting as an arm of Federal immigration authorities, police receive more trust from the community, which makes us all safer.

Proposed improvements to the Trust Act have recently been re-introduced in Hartford. For some information on last year’s attempts to improve the Trust Act, see https://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/20180327_advocates_seek_expansion_of_connecticuts_trust_act/ and https://www.acluct.org/en/legislation/hb-5543-act-concerning-trust-act.

Our police must be expected to comply with State law, and threatening someone, perceived to be an immigrant, with federal detention and deportation by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) does not comply.

We can best support our law enforcement agents by taking the necessary measures to maximize the public’s trust in them.

Sarah Forman

posted by: The Sleeping Giant on February 7, 2019  7:43pm

@ wow Cunningham you are abnormally hysterical. I will not enagage in your strawman tactics. You don’t know anything about the driver in the car and I afford him no excuse for running a red light and not pulling over when asked to do so. I owe you no explanation.They are systems in place to punish this officer for violating town policy. 

That BMW could have plowed into my or my family’s car. You and your ilk from New Neven are so willing to give lawbreakers the benefit of a doubt and set up new layers of governance without justification. I am intimately familiar with your “talking points”. None of them convinces me that Hamden needs a CRB to harrass the PD because of this event. Go away.

You’d be a friend to Southern Hamden if you expended all that hysteria warning all with disregard for the law to start obeying them. This is not a random case of DWB or while Immigrant.
That’s the problem with liberals, we pick all the wrong damn fights all the wrong damn time.

It’s cute when you don’t live here to disregard what the driver did or didn’t do.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on February 7, 2019  10:46pm

posted by: The Sleeping Giant on February 7, 2019 7:43pm

They are systems in place to punish this officer for violating town policy.

Then why are they still on active duty.?Did you see the body-cam footage?

posted by: The Sleeping Giant on February 8, 2019  8:02am

Three fifths- Leaders heard Tiuesday night. You ever heard of due process? Brace yourself, they won’t be fired for hurting this law breaker’s feelings; nor would they be if a CRB is here.

Yes I saw the video; what’s your point? I hope these guys are using their time to keep more criminals off our streets in Hamden. Whether they be immigrant or native—they get no special privilege.

posted by: cunningham on February 8, 2019  9:08am

@ Sleeping Giant

Like I said, I’m not defending reckless or impaired driving. But just like there “are systems in place” to discipline police misconduct, there’s a justice system with rights and protections built-in for the accused. The justice system should not include pointless violence and threats, which is what the officer in this video used. It’s inappropriate at best, and and worst actually threatens public safety by make people distrustful of the police. And I live in Southern Hamden.