Bridgeport officer under investigation after video shared of him hitting suspect

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bridgeport police cruiser

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — Bridgeport police are investigating one of their own after a Facebook video of an officer hitting a juvenile went viral on Saturday.

The incident happened on Kossuth Street in Bridgeport.

In a Facebook video posted by someone who goes by Staxx Rivera on the site, the officer is shouting for the juvenile to ‘get his hands out the window’. An officer with a flashlight then approaches the passenger side of the vehicle.

The juvenile then steps out of the car, appears to adjust his pants, and puts both his hands up. A second officer then runs up to him and hits the juvenile on the head with his department issued pistol. The juvenile then lands on the ground.

News 8 has requested permission to share the video but have not yet received a response.

The officer taken off duty was identified by police as Gianni Capozziello.

Mayor Joe Ganim Released a statement regarding the issue saying,

“I have not seen the video, but if the evidence shows anything near what has been described – this will not be tolerated and calls for immediate and swift action. No acts consistent with what has been described to me will be tolerated from any member of the Bridgeport Police Department. I will do everything in my power to ensure accountability and a speedy internal investigation. I will have more to add upon review of the video and when I receive further information about the incident.”

Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim

Bridgeport Chief of Police Armando Perez released a statement saying,

“As soon as I became aware of the video this afternoon, I ordered the officer to be taken off duty. Following the officer’s dismissal from duty, I instructed Internal Affairs to retain the dashcam and bodycam videos of the arrest scene and to begin an investigation. Everything that can immediately be done to address this incident, has been done.”

Bridgeport Chief of Police Armando Perez

The arrest report, written by Capozziello, states that police initiated a felony stop after they learned the vehicle the juvenile was driving matched the description and registration of a stolen vehicle.

According to the report, after the juvenile was handcuffed and placed in the car, he was discovered to be in possession of a substance that had packaging consistent with packaging for heroin. Due to concerns that the substance potentially contained fentanyl, it wasn’t tested in the field.

The arrest report states that Capozziello informed his superior on the scene he’d struck the juvenile” in the head area” with the “magazine well” of his department issued pistol. Police say a use of force report was attached to the arrest report.

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