A white police officer has been fired from the force after getting caught on video telling a group of black and Hispanic young people that they shouldn't run because he is 'trigger happy."
Police Chief David Rosado announced that Officer Stephen Barone was terminated from his job in Hartford Police, Connecticut. In a statement about the incident, he said:
This officer's conduct does not reflect the values of our agency. I did not make this decision lightly. We hold ourselves to high standards and when we fall short, we take responsibility for it. After reviewing the findings...it's clear to me that there's no scenario in which Mr Barone can return to his duties as a productive member of the Hartford Police Department.
A recording of Barone and the young people was taken by a bystander and by police video.
In it he can be heard telling the youngsters during a trespassing call:
If anyone wants to fight or run...I'm a little trigger happy, guys. I'm not gonna lie, and I get paid a ton of money in overtime if I had to shoot somebody. Don't do anything stupid.
He also told the group that he made the comments because he was outnumbered and needed to keep control, New York Post reports.
In addition he stated that he could lose money if he shot somebody as the resulting investigation would mean he wouldn't be able to work overtime. He also said that people from the wealthy area he lives in only go to Hartford because they're junkies.
Following an internal investigation, he was initially demoted from sergeant to officer, and assigned to desk duty.