HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Protesters gathered in Hartford on Friday to rally against police brutality.
The death of George Floyd — an unarmed black man who died while in police custody — sparked outrage across the nation, and Connecticut was no exception.
People of different races came to unite and send a strong message: What happened in Minneapolis would not be tolerated in Connecticut.
Police across Connecticut told News 8 that they felt the officer’s use of force was unjust.
“When I saw that video personally, I was sickened by it,” said Connecticut State Police’s Brian Foley. “While no police department is perfect, the tactics used in that video were wrong. You will not find one police officer step forward and say those are good police tactics and add onto that; the dude was in handcuffs!”
“That force has to be appropriate, and in this situation, clearly, you have an individual who is handcuffed, on the ground,” said former Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara. “He is in custody. There is no need to use force at that moment.”
Connecticut State Police even told News 8 that choke holds are not allowed or taught in the academy.
“I was with the commissioner when he saw the video, we were both incredibly upset,” Foley said. “He wants everyone to know this is not how police officers are trained in the state of Connecticut. They are not trained like that at the academy, post academy. In fact, we teach against using them. We also teach against positional asphyxiation as well.”
Law enforcement said it’s essential to have an open dialogue with community leaders now, and moving forward, so when something happens, there is at least a little bit of trust.
“We talk to them on the ground, we’re not best friends, but once we get on the ground it’s a dance, it’s the way to work and respond so that all of us are safe,” Bishop John Selders, community activist, said. “That’s actually what we are trying to do; keep everybody safe.”