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Man who was Tased by Bridgeport police claims excessive force in lawsuit

pic By: ThisIsButter1 (1950.00) Views: 2182 Score: 5 Used: 0 Bookmark: 0 Shares: 16 Downloads: 6

A Bridgeport man who was shot with a stun gun announced Thursday that he is suing Bridgeport police.

Video shows a man in Bridgeport being shot with a stun gun by police. The man's attorney says officers used excessive force.

The encounter took place between Angelo Tompkins, 33, of Bridgeport, and a city police officer, around 8:30 p.m. Monday near Hallet and Arctic streets on the city's East Side.

Police are defending the officer's use of a stun gun, but Tompkins' attorney, Darnell Crosland, says the incident is "an indefensible example of excessive force."

"They could only use a Taser if they're responding to a violent crime; there was no violent crime here," said Crosland. "The use of Tasers or stun guns are dangerous. They've been known to cause heart attacks or even death."

News 12 agreed to blur out the officer's face because authorities say he works undercover.

The video shows officers deploy the stun gun during an exchange of words between him and Tompkins.

Officials say Bridgeport Police Narcotics & Vice officers were conducting a proactive patrol in the area of Hallett and Arctic streets on the City's East Side. As the officers approached the intersection in an unmarked police vehicle, they observed a child who appeared as though he was being taunted or bullied by two adult males. These males had previously been advised by the officers not to loiter in the area.

Police body cam video showing what happened before and after the cellphone video does not show any bullying. Tompkins denies any bullying. He says he was "harmlessly playing" with the boy, who's the son of a close friend.

Below is an excerpt of audio from the body cam video:

Officer: "Do you have any ID sir?"

Tompkins: "Why do you need to see my ID?"

Officer: "For loitering"

Tompkins: "Loitering where? My friend lives here. I'm going upstairs with this stuff to wash dishes."

A moment later the officer says he is detaining Tompkins and the stun gun is deployed.

Crosland says Tompkins was arrested, detained for about seven hours and charged with interfering. Tompkins filed a complaint against the officer in addition to his lawsuit.

City officials say, "Tomkins failed to comply with a lawful order, was arrested and there was no wrongdoing by police."

Police released a statement saying, "for transparency purposes regarding the cell-phone footage incident, the first several minutes of the interaction involving all parties captured on the officer's body worn camera is being released. According to the initial report, on August 22, 2022, at approximately 8:30pm Bridgeport Police Narcotics and Vice officers were conducting proactive patrol in the area of Hallett Street and Arctic Streets on the City's East side. As the officers approached the intersection in an unmarked police vehicle, they observed a child who appeared as though he was being taunted or bullied by two adult males. These males had previously been advised by the officers not to loiter in the area. The initial video presented does not show the entire interaction and has been edited; therefore, we have released a longer portion of the footage captured by the officer's body worn camera. The incident resulted in the arrest of one of the parties therefore, redaction of the non-arrested."

Crosland released a statement in response saying, "The circumstances surrounding the arrest of our client is indefensible. It is also highly irresponsible for the City of Bridgeport to issue a statement that the use of force was justified. It’s protocol for an officer to complete a use of force form after using his or her gun or taser. Thereafter, the department conducts an investigation and a report is produced. It’s clear to our community that there is no leadership and accountability in the City of Bridgeport or within the Bridgeport Police Department. This is highlighted in the way the Lauren Smith-Fields and Brenda Lee Rawls case is being handled, and it’s apparent yet again in the Thompkins case. We are demanding accountability."

ID
fgh7qy Copy
License
Unknown
Type
video
Duration
1:47
Date
Sep-5-2022
By
ThisIsButter1 (1950.00)

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