Officer Gianni Capozziello was suspended after a video surfaced of him smashing an unarmed, compliant teen driver in the head with a pistol in Bridgeport, Connecticut on Aug. 16., reports the CT Post.
The teen opened his car door, got out of the car and pulled his pants up, which Capozziello used in his police report to justify his assault of the teen: “Fearing [he] may be reaching for a weapon, I utilized the magazine well area of [the] pistol as an emergency impact weapon.”
Bridgeport Police Chief Armando Perez said he put Capozziello on administrative leave “as soon as I became aware of the video”:
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.
Sgt. Charles Paris, President of AFSCME Local 1159 (the Bridgeport Police Union), tried to defend the assault by claiming Capozziello was “conducting a felony stop of an unknown occupant of a reported stolen vehicle in a location that is known for high drug trafficking and weapons. These are known facts that have already been reported, and should be kept in mind before any rush to judgement based on a Facebook video,” notes CT Post.