Protesters rally over Negron decision

Posted: Updated:
BRIDGEPORT -

About 300 people joined relatives and friends of Jayson Negron to protest the state's attorney's decision not to charge the officer who shot and killed him at 1000 Park Ave., where the 15-year-old died last May.

"I'm very devastated," said Sammy Negron, a cousin. "I'm really mad about it. I've been up all night."

Officials and Negron's father urged calm ahead of the rally, which was scheduled to coincide with the release of the state's attorney's decision that the use of force was justified. The announcement set emotions running high, however, as protesters decried police violence. They gathered around 5 p.m. at a makeshift memorial at the scene of the slaying.

They marched down Fairfield Avenue toward City Hall on Broad Street, demanding justice from police and Mayor Joe Ganim.

Earlier in the day, Negron's sister Jazmarie Melendez showed some frustration, ripping down no parking signs that were taped up over her brother's makeshift memorial. 

By the end of the march, police reported no violence and no arrests.

As News 12 has reported, police shot and killed Negron after a brief chase they say ended when he drove a stolen car into an officer. A passenger in the car was also injured by gunfire. Both victims' families are suing police over the incident.

State's Attorney Maureen Platt in Waterbury has declined to charge Officer James Boulay in the incident. In a report explaining her decision, she found that Boulay shot Negron only after the teen began to drag him with a stolen car. Negron had led police on a brief chase leading up to the encounter. According to the report, he refused to stop and drove the wrong way down the one-way Park Avenue in a failed attempt to flee. When Boulay ordered him to stop, he ignored him. The officer tried to pull him from the car, and Negron put it in gear and started to drive, trapping Boulay with the car door and nearly running him over, according to the report.

Both Mayor Ganim and Police Chief AJ Perez released statements sending their deepest sympathies to the family and vowing to support the city's youth.

The report did little to calm activists who were quickly upset with the decision to clear Boulay of wrongdoing.

Police prepared for the rally by setting up barricades and lighting to keep the scene safe for both activists and police. Both local and state police stepped up patrols across the Park City as well.

Nearby, the principal of Kolbe Cathedral School canceled classes for the day out of an abundance of caution.

"The loss of a young man, the police department, so there are a lot of emotions, a lot of feelings, and you have a right to grieve," says City Councilman Ernie Newton. "I just hope we grieve in a peaceful way."

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