HARTFORD – Today, Waterbury State’s Attorney Maureen Platt announced that Connecticut will not file charges against Bridgeport police officer James Boulay, who shot and killed 15-year-old Jayson Negron on May 9, 2016. Platt also released her office’s report regarding Negron’s death, including footage of the shooting. The following is a statement from David McGuire, executive director of the ACLU of Connecticut:
“Jayson Negron was a 15-year-old boy who Bridgeport police shot and left in the street as he died. He should be alive today. Above all else, we wish to acknowledge the pain that today’s decision by prosecutors inflicts on Jayson’s family, who buried their child and waited months for justice that did not come. For many Black and brown people, Connecticut’s decision not to press charges against James Boulay will also reinforce the trauma caused by years of bearing witness to unchecked police violence.
Maureen Platt’s decision not to press charges against Bridgeport police officer James Boulay is part of a pattern of police not being held accountable when they hurt, kill, and discriminate against Black and brown adults and children in Connecticut and across the country. The state’s unjustifiable delay in releasing video footage of the shooting is also the latest example of Connecticut police and prosecutors ignoring public demands for transparency after police kill.
Today’s announcement is the latest sign that the government employees who are supposed to enforce the law have no one enforcing the law on them. Prosecutors and police should not expect the benefit of the doubt regarding their investigations into police uses of force when all signs point to a system that does not hold police accountable. Until Connecticut holds police to democratic checks and balances, it will continue to fail Black and brown people and dishonor the Constitution’s promises of equality and justice under the law.
It is time for new police accountability systems. The ACLU of Connecticut will continue to fight for a world in which police answer to the Constitution and the people they serve, not their own self-imposed and self-enforced rules. We are inspired by Jazmarie Melendez’s bravery and dedication in seeking justice for her brother, and by CT-CORE, Bridgeport Generation Now, People Against Police Brutality, and the many people who have joined her demand for #JusticeForJayson. We will continue to strive for a day when police no longer behave like occupying forces.”
Connecticut does not keep track of police uses of force. According to the Washington Post, six people, including Jayson Negron, were shot and killed by police in Connecticut in 2017. This does not include fatalities that were the result of other police uses of force or police car chases.