Bridgeport officer suspended for hitting teen with a gun

October 14, 2021 GMT

BRIDGEPORT, Conn (AP) — A Bridgeport police officer has been suspended for 20 days for an incident caught on video in which he struck a 17-year-old in the head with his gun.

Acting Police Chief Rebeca Garcia issued the suspension to Officer Gianni Capozziello after an investigation found he used excessive force during the Aug. 16, 2019 arrest of the teen, who was stopped in a stolen car, the Connecticut Post reported Thursday.

Capozziello reported he used his service weapon as “an emergency impact weapon” because he feared the suspect, who was pulling away from him, was reaching for a gun.

Mayor Joseph Ganim at the time called the Capozziello’s actions outrageous.

The president of the Bridgeport Police Union, Sgt. Brad Seely, said his organization believes Capozziello’s punishment is excessive and will file a grievance on his behalf.

The suspension is the second given to Officer Gianni Capozziello for using excessive force on duty. He was suspended last month for a a day in connection with the use of a stun gun on the 17-year-old son of a city councilwoman in June 2018, the newspaper reported.