Mayor responds to allegations of racism in the Bridgeport Police Department

Allegations of racism in the Bridgeport Police Department have been leveled publicly in the past but have reemerged now due to a lawsuit filed by a former Bridgeport police official.

News 12 Staff

Aug 19, 2021, 5:00 PM

Updated 1,015 days ago

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Allegations of racism in the Bridgeport Police Department have been leveled publicly in the past but have reemerged now due to a lawsuit filed by a former Bridgeport police official.
A lawsuit filed by former police captain Mark Straubel alleges former police chief AJ Perez — now in federal prison — forced Straubel to enter a conspiracy to help Perez cheat on the police chiefs' exam in order to score the department’s permanent top spot.
Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim responded to the new allegations today, saying in part, “I want to be very clear. If it comes to my attention, we will take immediate action.”

The language in the lawsuit garnered a reaction from the Guardians, a group of Bridgeport police officers of color, to push Ganim to allow for federal oversight of the police department.

Ganim tells News 12 that while he can't comment on pending litigation, there's no place for racism anywhere in city government.

"Anything that's brought to my attention as a credible allegation will be investigated and addressed,” says Ganim.

Bridgeport activist and City Council candidate Joe Grits says what’s especially significant about the latest allegations against the Bridgeport Police Department is that the people making them are not outsiders.
"What's done in the dark comes out in the light. So I'm not surprised at all at the news I'm hearing,” says Grits. “I feel like people even within the department [are] finally just coming out and exposing what's been going on for years.”

The mayor of Bridgeport believes the city’s diversity is more than a personal point of pride – it’s the city's greatest strength.

"We'll take action, immediate action, if credible allegations are brought to our attention,” says Ganim. “That's not to be tolerated by this administration in any department against any individual or group of individuals."

Former Chief Perez is currently serving a 366-day sentence in federal prison.


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