BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Editor's note: The above video is from 2019
A Bridgeport police officer has been suspended for 20 days for an incident caught on video in which he struck a 17-year-old in the head with his gun.
Acting Police Chief Rebeca Garcia issued the suspension to Officer Gianni Capozziello after an investigation found he used excessive force during the Aug. 16, 2019 arrest of the teen, who was stopped in a stolen car, the Connecticut Post reported Thursday.
Capozziello details in his report that he pulled over a stolen vehicle driven by a juvenile. The report, written by Capozziello, said that he yelled multiple times at the juvenile to "stick his hands out the window."
When the juvenile got out of the stolen car, Capozziello said that he "utilized the magazine well area of [his] pistol as an emergency impact weapon." His reasoning in the report was that he feared the suspect was reaching for a weapon when he dropped his hands to his waist.
Capozziello reported he used his service weapon as “an emergency impact weapon” because he feared the suspect, who was pulling away from him, was reaching for a gun.
In the video, the suspect can be seen lowering his hand and then raising them up as the officer strikes him.
According to the police report, the 17-year-old driver was in possession of .7 grams of heroin and the car was in fact stolen.
The ACLU said knowing that was not enough of a reason to take the action that the video showed.
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