By Aaron Kesel
A 20-year-old man in Connecticut has been charged with a hate crime for throwing a brick at a police squad car, which could set a precedent for how assaults on police are categorized.
Police say a white man, Devon Adams-Almstad, threw a brick through a police officer’s patrol car window and said he “hates white police officers.”
Adams-Almstad was arrested Monday night for the incident and charged with first-degree criminal mischief, assault on police, reckless endangerment, hate crime and breach of peace, according to the Hartford Courant.
The responding officer’s incident report says that Adams-Almstad stated that “he hates white police officers because they shoot black people and that he hates all of us.”
The incident comes after a video surfaced last week of a Hartford police sergeant telling a group of trespassers that he is “trigger happy.” The sergeant, Stephen Barone, was suspended for the incident but it has caused brewing outrage and facts have emerged that he was suspended prior to the current situation for an incident in 2016.
“If anybody 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 have to shoot somebody. So don’t do anything stupid,” Barone is heard telling the group on Heath Street Thursday night in a three-minute clip posted on Facebook Friday.
Barone, a 10-year veteran of the department, was among several officers suspended in an investigation into a 2016 car chase in which then Sgt. Sean Spell kicked a man while he was handcuffed. Barone was later promoted to sergeant.
Adams-Almstad did not mention the video, according to the incident report, but Police Chief David Rosado brought it up in his comments on the attack.
“I know members of our community are deeply distressed about the statements made in the video that was released last week, and as someone born and raised in Hartford, I share that sense of distress,” Rosado said.
“As a department, we take great pride in the relationship of mutual respect we’ve worked to foster between the department and the community we serve,” he added. “Attacks on our officers are entirely and unequivocally wrong, counterproductive and themselves damaging to that relationship.”
The brick did not hit the officer in the car, but he was cut by flying glass from the window, according to officials. Police stated that he got lucky and the “brick narrowly missed Officer Carlo Faienza’s head.”
“Like many in our city, I am disappointed and angered by the video which was released last week, but anyone who thinks it’s OK to express that anger through violence is doing grievous damage to our community,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.
Rosado spoke about the video condemning the attack on an officer and the video by the sergeant threatening the teens.
“I know members of our community are deeply distressed about the statements made in the video that was released last week, and as someone born and raised in Hartford, I share that sense of distress,” Rosado said Tuesday afternoon. “As a department, we take great pride in the relationship of mutual respect we’ve worked to foster between the department and the community we serve.
“Attacks on our officers are entirely and unequivocally wrong, counterproductive and themselves damaging to that relationship,” he added. “We should both continue to have a dialogue about the challenges we face and reject any violence directed at our officers because they are there to serve, even in the most dangerous and difficult times.”
The ACLU of Connecticut echoed statements by others that the actions by the officer were unacceptable.
“This video confirms that Hartford’s emphasis on ‘quality-of-life’ policing is not an investment in stronger communities, but in over-policing and under-protecting some city residents. As long as Hartford’s executive branch and police department continue to condone policing without checks and balances created by and for the people, this kind of unacceptable behavior will be a feature of the police department, not a bug,” said Executive Director David McGuire.
Apparently, it’s now a hate crime to assault a police officer, which I thought was a designation reserved for racial instances and not law enforcement dealing with dissident citizens after a video of a corrupt sergeant leaks threatening lives of citizens, but what do I know? The ACLU at the time of this report has not responded to the charge of a hate crime for throwing a brick at a police cruiser.
Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post. Support us at Patreon. Follow us on Minds, Steemit, SoMee, BitChute, Facebook and Twitter. Ready for solutions? Subscribe to our premium newsletter Counter Markets.
Image credit: The Daily Sheeple