BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Bridgeport Police Chief AJ Perez confirmed that he has ordered an investigation after a Facebook video surfaced showing five officers beating a teenager.
The Office of Internal Affairs will conduct the investigation into the incident involving the arrest of an 18-year-old Bridgeport man after he reported a minor car accident on Seaview Avenue after 9 p.m. Friday, according to a statement Sunday from Perez.
"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," Perez said in the statement.
Aaron Kearney Jr. was arrested and charged with breach of peace and assault on a police officer on Friday night.
A video posted on Facebook shows officers forcing Kearney onto the hood of a car, then one female officer begins to punch the side of his face while the other officers hold him.
A woman can be heard screaming repeatedly, “Don’t hurt my son, don’t hurt my son.”
At one point, the female officer yells at the person shooting the video, “Get back, or you are next.”
“The Bridgeport Police Department is committed to public service and the safeguarding of the public’s dignity and constitutionally afforded rights," Perez said in the statement.
The officers involved in the arrest Friday have been placed on "administrative status," he said. This status removes the officer from contact with the public while the case is "expeditiously and vigorously investigated by the Bridgeport Police Office of Internal Affairs."
Perez said he has a "zero-tolerance policy for abusing the citizens who we are tasked and sworn to protect and serve."
But, he said, it is unfortunately "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.”
Click here to view the video on Facebook.
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