⏩ 11 charged af­ter march on an­niver­sary of cop-in­volved fa­tal shoot­ing.

The News-Times - - FRONT PAGE - By Daniel Tepfer

BRIDGE­PORT — The 11 peo­ple ar­rested af­ter a demon­stra­tion on the sec­ond an­niver­sary of po­lice fa­tally shoot­ing a 15-year-old boy have been re­leased, af­ter each posted a $5,000 bond.

Mean­while, po­lice used pre­pared state­ments Fri­day to give their ac­count of what hap­pened Thurs­day night, in­clud­ing the de­ten­tion of a Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia re­porter, who was was hand­cuffed and taken to po­lice de­part­ment in a squad car af­ter shoot­ing video of the scene from the side­walk on Fair­field Av­enue.

In the video, journalist Tara O’Neill is heard iden­ti­fy­ing her­self as a news re­porter be­fore she was taken into cus­tody. She was later re­leased with­out any charges.

Those who were charged — with in­cit­ing a riot, in­ter­fer­ing with po­lice and sec­ond-de­gree breach of peace — have ar­raign­ments sched­uled in Su­pe­rior Court in two weeks.

“All 11 of us are home safe. Thank y’all. I love y’all. We love y’all. I don’t got much words but power to the peo­ple,” Kerry Elling­ton, one of those ar­rested, posted on Face­book. “The sys­tem pro­tects the local po­lice col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ment, the po­lice union con­tracts, and the sys­tem val­ues it over black and brown lives… The sys­tem needs to be held ac­count­able on a local, statewide and fed­eral level. On all lev­els. State sanc­tioned violence must end. It’s not OK.”

Jayson Ne­gron was shot by Bridge­port Po­lice Of­fi­cer James Boulay on May 9, 2017, af­ter a brief pur­suit in a stolen ve­hi­cle, ac­cord­ing to a re­port by Water­bury State’s At­tor­ney Mau­reen Platt.

She said Ne­gron had turned the wrong way down a one-way street and put the ve­hi­cle in re­verse as Boulay ap­proached and pulled open the driver’s side door. Platt said the door hit Boulay and he fired his gun into the ve­hi­cle, fa­tally shoot­ing Ne­gron and wound­ing his pas­sen­ger.

Boulay was cleared of any crim­i­nal wrong­do­ing by Platt.

Po­lice Chief Ar­mando Perez did not im­me­di­ately re­turn calls for com­ment on Fri­day. Po­lice re­leased a sum­mary of the in­ci­dent re­port.

“At ap­prox­i­mately 8:10 p.m. the re­main­ing pro­test­ers at Wal­greens be­came in­creas­ingly ag­i­tated and threw a bot­tle at of­fi­cers on scene,” the re­port said. “Of­fi­cers stayed in po­si­tion and looked for rec­og­niz­able Bridge­port com­mu­nity mem­bers who could as­sist in a di­a­logue. No one was vis­i­ble. An­other glass ob­ject was thrown at an of­fi­cer, and the crowd re­mained ag­i­tated and yelling ob­scen­i­ties at the po­lice of­fi­cers.

“For public safety pur­poses, BPD in­formed the un­ruly pro­test­ers that they had five min­utes to dis­perse due to the un­ruly as­sem­bly,” the re­port con­tin­ued. “The crowd did not com­ply and con­tin­ued to be un­ruly and grew louder. Of­fi­cers moved in fairly quickly to main­tain safety and de­tained 12 in­di­vid­u­als. All of the in­di­vid­u­als de­tained we ar­rested be­cause they did not com­ply or dis­perse.

“While at BPD head­quar­ters, an ar­rest­ing of­fi­cer was ad­vised that one of the de­tainees was a mem­ber of the press. The re­porter, wear­ing plain street clothes and no clearly vis­i­ble iden­ti­fy­ing mark­ers other than an ID name badge, was re­leased with­out a sum­mons, as she was not part of the or­ga­niz­ers,” the sum­mary con­tin­ued.

Ar­rested were Kerry Elling­ton, of New Haven; Thomas Bos­tian, of New Haven Brit­ney Bre­vard, of New Haven; Jenna Fu, of Bridge­port; Kiana McDavid, of Hart­ford; Sam Mor­bidelli, of New Haven; Kacey Perkins, of Fair­field; Sarah Pi­menta, of Milford; Brenna Re­gan, of Fair­field; Maria San­doval, of New Haven, and Michael Merli, of Bridge­port.

The Con­necti­cut Daily News­pa­pers As­so­ci­a­tion con­demned O’Neill’s de­ten­tion.

“The CDNA and its mem­ber papers across the state place its full sup­port in Tara O’Neill and CDNA Mem­ber, Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia,” said Chris VanDeHoef, the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor. “Ar­rest­ing a re­porter who is cov­er­ing a public protest, on a public side­walk, shows a bla­tant dis­re­gard for the First Amend­ment. The city of Bridge­port Po­lice De­part­ment needs to eval­u­ate how it trains its of­fi­cers on in­ter­act­ing with a work­ing re­porter while on duty. Ar­rest­ing a work­ing re­porter for cov­er­ing po­lice actions has a chill­ing ef­fect on the First Amend­ment. We praise Ms. O’Neill and her dogged re­port­ing and hope the City of Bridge­port works harder to ap­pre­ci­ate our nation’s First Amend­ment Rights.”

Bruno Matarazzo, pres­i­dent of the Con­necti­cut chap­ter of the So­ci­ety of Pro­fes­sional Jour­nal­ists, is­sued the fol­low­ing state­ment:

“The fact that Bridge­port po­lice found it ap­pro­pri­ate to arrest a re­porter is dis­turb­ing. Tara O’Neill was re­port­ing on Thurs­day’s protest to write a news story. She was not a par­tic­i­pant, and iden­ti­fied her­self as a re­porter when an of­fi­cer hand­cuffed her. The fact that some­one can be ar­rested in Bridge­port for the law­ful exercise of a First Amend­ment right is chill­ing.”

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