Investigation underway into use of force by Bridgeport officers - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Investigation underway into use of force by Bridgeport officers

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(WFSB file photo) (WFSB file photo)
BRIDGEPORT, CT (WFSB) -

Two shoreline police officers are on administrative duty after being accused of beating a teenager.

There is a videotape some say backs up the accusations, but others say there is much more to the story.

This all stems from a crash that happened on Seaview Avenue on Friday that eventually led to an arrest of Aaron Kearney Jr.

In the video you can hear his mother saying "don't hurt my son."

Officers appear to be restraining the teenager, but the question is if the force was excessive. At one point, an officer appears to hit Kearney and another appears to push him against the car.

Police say Kearney was driving with a suspended license and when officers told him that, he became belligerent, felt threatened and called for backup.

In a statement, police said due to Kearney's size (6'3", 240 pounds), "and strength, it took several officers to subdue Mr. Kearney and place him under arrest as he continued to violently resist police officers, becoming verbally and at times physically abusive."

This included kicking, hitting, and spitting on a number of officers during the incident.

Kearney's family said one of the officers identified by city officials as Christine Arroyo used excessive force by hitting him and should no longer be an officer.

Bridgeport Police Chief Armando J. Perez issued a statement, saying in part “In the event that an officer is found to have knowingly and willfully violated policy by using excessive force in the performance of their duties, I will make every effort to see that officer separated from their employment with the Bridgeport Police Department and where applicable arrested and charged with a crime."

He added that the officers have been placed on an administrative status while the investigation is underway.

“As the Chief of Police, I have a zero-tolerance policy for abusing the citizens who we are tasked and sworn to protect and serve. It is unfortunately also common for Bridgeport Police officers to face situations that require the use of force, up to and including the use of deadly force. I continue to support my officers who meet the standards of reasonableness in these situations when such a use of force is justified,” Perez said.

Sgt. Chuck Paris with the Bridgeport Police Union said the video "only shows part of the incident."

"We are looking forward to seeing the rest of the video and other video. There is much more to it than meets the eye," Paris said in a statement to Eyewitness News on Monday. 

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