AP NEWS

Senator calls on city to release cop investigation report

March 5, 2019

BRIDGEPORT — State Sen. Marilyn Moore, D-Bridgeport, on Tuesday called on city officials to make public the investigative report on the 2017 Colorado Avenue party bust up.

“There is no excuse for this. Two officers have committed suicide, Latinos’ civil rights were violated and the city attorney is sitting on an FOIA request from the Connecticut Post,” said Moore who recently announced she is a candidate for mayor.

Hearst Connecticut Media was in negotiations with the City Attorney’s office most of Tuesday to view the report on Wednesday but as of 5 p.m., had not gotten any firm confirmation that the report would be available.

Following a two-year investigation, the city Office of Internal Affairs issued a 408-page report which Chief Armando Perez confirmed cites 17 police officers for violating Police Department regulations. Multiple sources said the violations include lying on official sworn police reports regarding the incident. Hearst Connecticut Media requested either a copy or to read the report in early January, but the city has not yet complied with the FOI request.

On Oct. 21, 2017, officers responded to a noise complaint about a backyard party. Forty-five officers ended up being called to the scene. One party participant, Carmelo Mendez, filed a complaint that he was punched and kicked by officers while handcuffed. He provided video he claims supports his allegations.

Two officers who were investigated by OIA later committed suicide including Sgt. Mark Belinkie who killed himself at his Milford home on Saturday.

There has been no link established between the officers’ suicides and the investigation.

Perez said Belinkie previously told him he was concerned about the OIA investigation.

“There is no reason for the city to continue to sit on this report. ... the victims are waiting in limbo, the level of distrust that the public has with the Police Department grow -- and yet the city attorney says they are not releasing the report. Why?” Moore said in a statement.

“Release the report today. End the secrecy surrounding this incident and let healing process begin. Once again, we see the city attorney’s office ignore state law concerning Freedom of Information. The Internal Affairs report is the public’s information not the City Attorney’s private information. Release the report today,” Moore stated.