Police faced increasing calls Tuesday to release surveillance videos and documents related to an officer’s fatal shooting of an unarmed 15-year-old driver, with many questions about the killing unanswered.
Authorities said Bridgeport Officer James Boulay fatally shot Jayson Negron and wounded 21-year-old Julian Fyffe on May 9. Police said Boulay opened fire when Jayson nearly ran over him while driving a stolen car.
Jayson’s relatives dispute the police story. They said they were initially told he died shortly after he was shot in the head. The medical examiner said he was shot in the chest, and amateur video shows him moving a few times while handcuffed and lying in the street.
Fyffe told WTIC-TV that Boulay wasn’t struck by the vehicle, as police previously said. Fyffe said the officer opened Jayson’s door and, as the officer tried to grab him, Jayson’s foot went to the gas, throwing the car into reverse.
Fyffe said Boulay was hit by the door, jumped out of the way and got shoved a little before he opened fire.
Officials said Jayson’s body lay in the street for more than six hours, shielded from public view with screens, while state police investigated, which reminded some activists of the killing of teenager Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri.
Among the unanswered questions is how long Jayson lay in the street before, and if, he received any medical attention and when he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Bridgeport and state police officials declined to comment Tuesday, citing the pending investigation.
A co-founder of the community organizing group CTCORE-Organize Now! said the shooting has increased distrust between the community and police.
“There’s a lot of pain,” co-founder Isa Mujahid said. “There’s a lot of distrust of our state institutions primarily because there’s a sense that there’s not accountability when our communities are targeted. Police cannot act as judge, jury and executioner on our streets.”
Mujahid is among activists urging police to release surveillance video of the shooting to help answer questions and ease community anger.
He was among several speakers at a news conference at the state Legislative Office Building who called on lawmakers to pass a bill aimed at improving investigations of police-involved shootings. They said the proposal has failed several times over the years.
Another speaker was state Rep. Christopher Rosario, a Bridgeport Democrat and chairman of the legislature’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus. He said Jayson was a relative of his wife and the shooting has shaken the community.
Rosario and state Sen Gary Winfield, a New Haven Democrat, called on legislative leaders to move the bill to a vote. The legislation would set deadlines for investigations of police use of force and require officials to immediately suspend officers without pay pending the investigations.
“We have passed bills to put more police into communities … and at the same time we’ve done nothing … to increase police accountability,” Winfield said.
The state ACLU chapter noted Bridgeport police don’t use body cameras and don’t have cameras in their cruisers.