“On-duty officers were dispatched to [a State Street bar in Connecticut] at 2:37 a.m. on a report of gunfire,” nhregister.com reports. “Police found shell casings in the area where the shooting occurred and encountered the men. After it was determined that the gunmen were off-duty police officers, the investigation quickly grew into a major internal probe of the officers’ alleged actions.” Ouch. Apparently, the incident occurred at an inconvenient time for their boss . . .
The incident happened at a time when [Chief] Esserman is trying to reinstitute a community policing model and restore public trust that officials say has eroded in recent years.
Esserman said he didn’t view Sunday’s incident as a setback in that effort.
“The actions of a few do not speak for the many. The department’s rapid response to investigate itself I hope speaks to that issue,” Esserman said.
I don’t think that means what Esserman thinks it means. I imagine if some of New Haven’s community members got liquored-up and busted some caps at 2:37 in the morning they’d have faced a very different fate. That’s not to say the unidentified officers in question didn’t suffer the consequences.
By early afternoon, Esserman placed all three on paid leave and had them surrender their guns, badges and work identification.
To be fair, Providence’s famously hot-headed former top cop—removed after a controversy surrounding underage drinking at his daughter’s graduation party—can’t very well arrest his own troops. Not after the Providence Police Union’s “no confidence” vote helped ease him out of the door.
Speaking of which, back in February, ctnews.com reported that New Haven Police Union President Sergeant Louis Cavaliere called the Elm City’s police layoffs a “disgusting embarrassment” and “suggested that city residents arm themselves to ensure order in spite of the depleted police force.”
I’m not quite sure how that ties in. Something about setting a good example. Anyway, it made me laugh. I mean, it’s all fun and games—until a bullet lands on some poor kid’s head.