Inspector General’s Office: Body cameras not activated during officer involved shooting

Body camera policy says officers are supposed to turn on their cameras at the start of every interaction with the public while on duty.
Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 7:56 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 19, 2023 at 5:51 PM EDT
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ORANGE, CT (WFSB) - Now to an update on the investigation into why an Orange Police Officer fired his gun Friday night.

According to information on Monday, the body cameras of the two officers involved were not activated.

Today, the I-Team has learned, they should have been. Channel 3 asked the Orange Police Department for their body camera policy.

Policy says officers are supposed to turn on their cameras at the start of every interaction with the public while on duty.

The Orange Police Department would not tell us whether the two officers involved broke policy or are on administrative leave, referring all questions to the Office of Inspector General.

The Office of Inspector General is investigating. A preliminary investigation found, according to the Office of the Inspector General:

Officers were dispatched to the Burlington Coat Factory on Boston Post Road on a report of suspected shoplifting.

Orange Police Officer Kurt Correia responded. Upon arrival, Officer Correia observed a subject, later identified as Maurice Keys, holding a laundry basket full of items.

Two individuals in the parking lot were pointing toward Keys. Officer Correia exited his cruiser and called out to Keys who fled.

Keys ran toward a 2004 Buick Century that was parked in the Burlington Coat Factory parking lot. Officer Correia pursued on foot.

A female, later identified as Timisha Hopkins, was inside the Buick and moved from the passenger seat to the driver’s seat.

As Keys attempted to enter the vehicle’s front passenger seat, Officer Correia reported that he took hold of Keys’ shoulders in an attempt to pull him out of the car.

Officer Correia reported that he was pulled into the vehicle where a struggle ensued with the occupants.

Officer Eric Ristaino arrived on scene and attempted to open the driver’s door to prevent Hopkins from starting the vehicle.

The Buick backed up colliding with an Orange Police Department cruiser and then proceeded up the ramp toward the Boston Post Road.

Officer Correia was still partially inside the vehicle. At this point, Officer Ristaino fired one round striking the rear of the Buick. The round did not strike anyone in the vehicle.

The vehicle stopped on the Boston Post Road. Keys and Hopkins were taken into custody and charged with assault on a police officer, larceny and related offenses.

Initial investigation indicates that, at the time of the shooting, the body worn cameras of Officers Correia and Ristaino were not activated. The investigation is continuing.