Bronin Covers Up Police Brutality, Malloy Budget Caters to the Rich & Donors

by David Samuels

This column appears in the February 23 – March 2 edition of the Hartford News.


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Action Alert: Support the Meagen Hockaday and Trayvon Martin Acts!


The Meagen Hockaday Act has been officially filed: S.B. No. 440




Visit our No Sellout blog for details on how you can support this police reform legislation.




Trayvon Martin Act



The bill has been officially filed. See this link for info on contacting Gov. Malloy, and the Judiciary Committee. Tell them to pass the Trayvon Martin Act racial profiling legislation!

Community Supports Ricardo Torres and Hartford Civilian Police Review Board

Hartford Police Minister of Misinformation Deputy Chief Brian Foley did his best to smear Ricardo M Torres and the Civilian Police Review Board in the Courant last week. Foley would only talk about the enhanced video of four HPD officers stomping Emilio Diaz as not being new. What the video shows is that the HPD attempted to limit the scope of the Diaz investigation to ‘one bad apple’: former Sgt. Sean Spell, who is the only officer who has been criminally charged. If the four cops assaulting Diaz weren’t doing anything wrong, why is a voice on the tape warning them about cameras? Torres is a certified use of force expert. Foley’s position is, ‘Who are you going to believe? Us or your lying eyes?’ The HPD is obviously shook by the outpouring of community support for Torres and the other Board members, and felt compelled to respond. Let’s see if Foley will explain why the Board was kept at the bare minimum of five members, when they are supposed to have nine members and two alternates, why the CPRB website (where meeting minutes are supposed to be posted) has not been updated since 2012, which was revealed by Torres at last week’s city council meeting, or why it took two years for the Board to receive information from HPD Chief James Rovella, on disciplinary action taken against cops who had sustained civilian complaints. The number of officers with sustained civilian complaints has increased for the third year in a row, to 36. Some officers have as many as three sustained complaints against them. The sabotage of the Board isn’t an isolated problem. Mary Sanders spoke at the city council meeting; she pointed out that multiple city commissions have no members. Mayor Luke Bronin is obviously trying avoid transparency and accountability.

Bronin is covering up police brutality in this city. In my opinion, there are at least two Democrats on the city council who are acting as accomplices: council president Thomas Clarke and John Gale. Torres and three other members were fired by Bronin, in retaliation for the Board requesting the names of the 19 Hartford Police officers who refused to cooperate with the brutality investigation of Spell. Bronin, Clarke and Gale have responded to the enhanced video evidence by trying to get rid of Torres, and the other Board members who are investigating the brutal assault on Diaz. During last week’s city council meeting, Clarke would only allow council member Wildaliz Bermudez (Working Families Party) to ask Torres one question, after he talked about the enhanced video evidence, and how the Board has been stonewalled by Rovella. Clarke himself asked no questions, and was visibly annoyed when Bermudez questioned Torres. Clarke seemed to be generally pissed off that Bermudez and her fellow WFP council member Larry Deutsch had microphones. Gale spent time during a recess badmouthing Torres, the only Board member with law enforcement training, as he talked to a couple who attended the meeting. The arrogance displayed by Clarke and Gale was appalling.


Policy Watch:  Malloy’s Neoliberal Agenda

Gov. Dan Malloy’s state budget proposal includes a plan to close Blue Hills Substance Abuse Services in Hartford. Connecticut liberals, If you want to understand what’s causing the gun violence that has engulfed Chicago, stop the selective outrage at sociopath-in-chief Donald Trump, and start paying attention to what the Democratic Party is doing in your own backyard. Urban areas, controlled by the Democrats, are being deprived of jobs and resources. Malloy’s budget includes a 10% across the board cut to funding for the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, as opioid addiction plagues the state. Community Party team analysis of Malloy’s budget proposal reveals that while Malloy is cutting funding for health, education and jobs programs, he’s willing to forgo $20.1 MILLION in revenue by reducing the estate and gift tax, and reducing the lifetime cap on taxes an estate pays. Our complete budget breakdown is available here.


Rep, Josh Elliott left Barnes stammering during a Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee meeting last week, after he confronted Barnes with data that contradicts the Malloy administration’s propaganda about how raising taxes on the rich will cause millionaires to flee the state. The number of millionaires in CT has actually increased since 2010, despite that fact that taxes on the rich increased during the same period.

CP team analysis exposed the connection between CT Democratic Party donors, and Malloy’s XL Center renovation plan. As Malloy slashes funding for human services, he included $250 million in his state budget proposal to renovate the XL Center…

Here’s the XL Center Connection

This was just in 2013:

“Of the $1.5 million raised this year by Democrats, $430,000 came from a roster of donors who wrote $10,000 checks, the maximum allowed by law. Those donors include top executives of the state’s largest utility, the company that manages state athletic venues, a major state landlord, a provider of state parking services and developers of major real-estate projects supported by state assistance.

“The maximum donors to the state account included Philadephia Flyers owner Edward Snider, the chief executive of Spectacor, the company that won the right earlier this year to manage two major state-owned venues, the XL Center in Hartford and Rentschler Field in East Hartford.” The state provided the XL Center with $35 million for renovations in 2014.

Lieutenant Gov. Nancy Wyman attempted to justify Malloy’s plan during her appearance on the WFSB Face the State program. Wyman, with help from co-host Susan Raff, conflated perceived consequences of not renovating the XL Center (Raff said the building would “decay”) with the 1978 roof collapse. An investigation found that the collapse, which occurred when the facility (then known as the Hartford Civic Center) was three years old, was caused by a faulty roof design.

Independent, grassroots political action will be essential to pushing back against the corruption by Bronin, Malloy and the Democrats.


History Channel report on the 1978 Hartford Civic Center roof collapse:

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