Bridgeport, CT — A Connecticut cop has been given a slap on the wrist this week after video surfaced showing him bash a teen in the head with his pistol for seemingly no reason at all. At the time the officer struck the teen, the teen's arms were in the air and he was listening to officer commands.
The CTPost reports that Acting Police Chief Rebeca Garcia suspended Officer Gianni Capozziello for a mere 20 days after an investigation by the city’s Office of Internal Affairs found he violated the Police Department’s regulation against excessive use of force.
Naturally, the president of the Bridgeport Police Union, Sgt. Brad Seely, said his organization believes Capozziello's punishment is excessive and will file a grievance on his behalf.
“The Bridgeport Police Union believes the discipline handed out to Officer Capozziello was excessive. We will file a grievance on his behalf and follow the procedure accordingly,” said Sgt. Brad Seely, president of the Bridgeport Police Union, AFSCME Local 1159.
Apparently, the union loves violent cops as this was Capozziello's second time in just one month getting suspended without pay over excessive force. Last month he was suspended for senseless tasering yet another teen.
The incident which led to his latest suspension happened on a Friday night in August 2019 and was captured on video by a neighbor. According to police, they were investigating a stolen car and pulled the teen driver over. Capozziello then yells at the teen to put his hands up and put them out of the window.
The teen, who was inside the car with the windows rolled up, took a few seconds to comply, opened the door and got out of the car as he may not have been able to hear the officer's commands. As he gets out, he pulls his pants up, which is interpreted by Capozziello as a threat.
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"I observed both of his hands drop below his waistline," Capozziello wrote in his report.
"Fearing [he] may be reaching for a weapon, I utilized the magazine well area of (his) pistol as an emergency impact weapon,” the officer wrote.
However, as the video — that the cops did not know was being taken — shows, the teen was no threat. He had his hands in the air and was complying with the order to walk toward the front of the vehicle when he was struck. There was no reason whatsoever to bash the teen in the head with his pistol and then begin hitting him on the ground.
“If what’s on that video is true, this officer needs to be prosecuted...terminated and looked at by the State’s Attorney’s Office for assault,” says Mayor Joe Ganim at the time. “It’s outrageous. It won’t be tolerated by anybody who is a member of the Bridgeport police department.”
Unfortunately, he was never prosecuted and allowed to stay on the force.
Whether or not the car was stolen is unknown as the alleged suspect was a juvenile.
If the car was stolen, the teen needed to be held accountable. However, because this officer couldn't control his rage, this teen will likely be financially awarded at the taxpayers expense.