Hartford’s Mayor and interim police chief agree to meet with NAACP over fatal police involved shooting

Hartford

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – The leaders of the Greater Hartford NAACP say they were supposed to have a meeting with city officials about the deadly officer involved shooting Friday, but that meeting never happened.

When Hartford police approached a suspect in a stolen car Friday night, 3 different officers had their body cameras rolling. Those cameras show 41 year-old Alphonso Zaporta lunging at officers.

Related: Body cam footage released in Hartford officer-involved shooting

They then show the moment Detective Zack Sherry shot and killed Zaporta. Within 3 days, this edited version of that video was released by state prosecutors.

Within hours of the shooting, Hartford officials reached out to the President of the Greater Hartford NAACP about a private viewing of the unedited video.

“The president [Maxien Robinson-Lewin] was notified that she would be invited to the private viewing,” explained Archbishop Dexter Burke of the Greater Hartford NAACP. “That private viewing came and went and she never got an email, never got a phone call.”

The question the civil rights group has now is what was edited out of that video? You hear two different officers shouting that Zaporta is going for a police weapon, but we never actually see Zaporta with a weapon.

“The officer that fired the shot, was that the very officer that was yelling stop I’m going to shoot?” asked Burke. “Was that the very officer, or did another officer fire the firearm? There are many questions and we don’t have the answers.”

When the video was released on Monday, Hartford’s chief talked about the importance of transparency in the investigation.

“It’s important to get this information out as quickly as possible,” said Interim Chief Jason Thody at Monday’s press conference. “Video is one piece of the investigation, we all understand that. But it is an important piece.”

The mayor’s office said in a statement earlier this week, “the video has been edited out of respect for Mr. Zaporta and his family, but the material being released does capture the portions of the incident pertinent to the investigation into the use of deadly force.

Going forward, the NAACP wants two things from city and state officials:

“A meeting with the mayor, a meeting with the interim chief of police, and the state’s attorney,” Burke said.

The second thing is a change to view the un-edited body camera video of the incident.

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