HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– The 435 member Hartford Police Union is accusing Governor Malloy of attempting to prejudice and politicize the case against a police detective that tased an 18-year-old man last week. The incident has prompted protest marches and controversy as surveillance video appears to show the young man stopping several feet from the police officer.
It’s not just the Governor the union is criticizing, they are also criticizing the police chief because he took part in a protest march Wednesday.
Large numbers of Hartford Police officers came out to police union headquarters Thursday to send a message concerning the taser incident last week involving African-American police detective Shawn Ware and 18-year-old Luis Anglero Jr.
“The comment by an elected official about being ‘sickened momentarily,’ quote-unquote, when seeing the video, were both prejudicial towards the officer and a severe rush to judgement without knowing all the facts,” said Sgt. Richard Holton, the president of the union.
The elected official that made that comment was Governor Malloy, whose office said Thursday that he reacted as any parent would react to seeing a young person being treated in this manner and he looks forward to the outcome of the investigation.
“We too want a fair and impartial investigation for all involved. There is a process and we need to let that that process play out absent of outside and political influences,” said Holton.
But it is not just the Governor’s words that the police union membership is angry about concerning the taser incident. They are also angry with Police Chief James Rovella who was seen Wednesday marching with protestors that were calling for Detective Ware’s arrest.
“Walking with the protesters conveying anti-police sentiments and calling for the arrest of Detective Ware conveyed a message to the rank and file that politics will overshadow the facts,” said the union president.
News 8 has obtained an internal memo sent by the chief to the rank and file;
“I walked among the protesters today for the purpose of exchanging ideas and points of view. I’m not one to wait at 10-2 (headquarters) and appear from behind doors to address the group. I’m trying to diffuse any continued animosity towards the police. It is important to support their freedom of expression. It is equally important to explain the police side and several people spent time talking with me. Our continued partnership with the community is important. Just as important, is a fair and impartial investigation and I stressed that with the group. I pass no judgement and remain neutral pending the outcome of the internal investigation. I am very proud of the work everyone does in this city, for our citizens both sworn and civilian police employees. I constantly praise your work, support your efforts and the personal sacrifices you make to protect and serve.”
Protesters at that rally note that witnesses to the incident say that Anglero had stopped and was complying with Detective Ware’s commands and that the charges against him should be dropped.