Police Shooting in Bridgeport / Minnesota Budget Solution /’Democrats Would Rather Lose Than Go Left’

by David Samuels

This column appears in the May 18 – 25 edition of the Hartford News.

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Policy Watch
Jayson Negron
Monday night I spoke via email with attorney Michael Stratton. Stratton is representing Julian Fyffe, who was the passenger in the car Jayson Negron was driving when both were shot by Bridgeport police officer James Boulay. Stratton sent me a detailed summary of his interview with Julian. Here are points from the summary.
Neither Julian nor Jayson had a criminal record. Julian, who is 21, had been acting as a mentor for 15-year-old Jayson. They were driving to a recording studio to work on their rap CD when they were stopped by Bridgeport officers. Julian says neither he nor Jayson knew the car was stolen; Stratton says there is no evidence that it was stolen.
Julian said there was no chase, that Jayson was pulling into a Walgreens parking lot when Bridgeport officers converged on the car. Julian said that Jayson stopped the car, but Boulay reached into the car before Jayson could put the car in park. Jayson, who was confused, accidentlally put the car into reverse.
As the car slowly rolled backwards, making minimal contact with a parked car, Boulay shot Jayson in the chest, then shot Julian twice. The Bridgeport police have seized the Walgreens surveillance video. Stratton is calling for Bridgeport PD Chief AJ Perez to release the video, which Stratton believes supports Julian’s story.
My thoughts on the NAACP press conference last week in Bridgeport… I don’t claim to know what happened when Jayson was shot. I do know that the current state law, which merely moves the investigation of police involved shootings from the jurisdiction where the shooting occurred to another, is a shell game. The state’s attorney in any city works daily with the police. It’s a conflict of interest for them to investigate police use of force cases. These probes should be handled by elected, independent investigators in the community.
The toothless body cameras law doesn’t help. Police departments in Connecticut must voluntarily agree to their officers wearing cameras. Few have done so, saying they can’t afford it; Gov. Dan Malloy and the General Assembly haven’t put up any money. However Malloy is willing to throw $250 million at XL Center renovation. The late Ed Snider, founder of Comcast Spectacor, the company that manages the XL Center, was one of the top donors to the CT Democrats in 2013. Body camera video could have definitively told us what happened in Bridgeport.
During the press conference there was no mention of the poverty rate in Bridgeport, and how the neoliberal policies of Malloy and the CT Democrats deprive Bridgeport of jobs and resources. Poverty = violence. Black and Latinx teens need jobs and economic opportunity. Gun violence is a side effect of the underground economy, which thrives in low income communities of color. http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Report-Percent-of-Bridgeport-children-in-poverty-4071289.php
Malloy’s current budget slashes funding for human services, and reduces the Earned Income Tax Credit for the working poor.  The racist so-called War on Drugs is also an issue. Former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper points to the drug war, and systemic racism in police departments as the key factors in police violence. None of this was mentioned during the press conference. It should have been. Cellphone video posted by a family member shows Jayson’s head change position after he was shot (camera turned away and returned after 4 seconds), indicating that he was still alive. No first aid was rendered.
I’m going to call a spade a spade… The press conference on Tuesday by the CT Democrats on the Jayson Negron police shooting was a publicity stunt, aimed at pacifying furious community residents in Bridgeport. The Democrats have resisted real police reform during the 2017 legislative session, and for years before that.
Don’t take my word for it – go through the 2017 archives of your favorite CT news source. See how many articles you find about comprehensive police reform legislation being pushed by the Democrats this year. Happy hunting.
Hearse chasing activists, who don’t give a damn about police reform or urban policy in general, are all over the Jayson Negron case. They know that they’re going to get plenty of TV camera time. You won’t see these frauds once the media storm passes.
Rep. Robyn Porter’s bill will change NOTHING. Tuesday’s press conference was about political expediency. It will take a holistic approach to address police violence in this country, something the CT Democrats have zero intention of doing. Don’t fall for this bs.
Minnesota is the Answer, Even If You Don’t Like It 
Connecticut AFL-CIO President Lori Pelletier appeared on Fox 61’s The Real Story to discuss the state budget, specifically Malloy’s plan to lay off 4200 state employees, if state employee unions don’t agree to concessions for the third time since 2009. The unions’ position is that the state should reform the state’s regressive tax structure, in order to raise much needed revenue (I’m a state worker).
The highlight of the interview: after Pelletier talked about how Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton turned a $6 billion budget deficit into a $1 billion surplus, by raising taxes on individuals earning $150,000 a year and couples earning $250,000 when filing jointly, co-host Jenn Bernstein’s follow up question was, “But can states tax their way to prosperity?” Um… Yeah, Jenn. They can. Pelletier just gave you an example. MINNESOTA. This is the level of corporate media dishonesty regarding tax inequity in Connecticut, where the working class and the poor pay more in taxes than wealthiest residents. The number of high income earners filing taxes in Minnesota increased following Dayton’s tax hike. The number of millionaires in CT has increased since 2006, when the total was 84,000. That number increased to 101,000 in 2015, despite small increases of the tax rates on millionaires since 2010.

State employees, contact Malloy and your legislators. Tell them we need the Minnesota tax the rich solution here.

Gov. Malloy’s office: Phone Number: (860) 566-4840      Toll-Free: (800) 406-1527 TDD: (860) 524-7397
Visit the CT General Assembly website to identify and contact your state representative and senator. Call and email them.


Corporatism Caused Democrats’ Collapse
“The Democrats are locked in a fatal contradiction: they cannot serve the people and their rich paymasters, too. The people want higher wages, affordable education and the right to healthcare. Instead, the Democrats engage in wishful thinking that the same tired nostrums would work one more time. The Democrats only run for office so they can make deals on behalf of the corporate interests which feed them. Democrats would rather lose than go to the left…
They don’t fight to win back state legislatures because they don’t want to. They know very well how to energize the base and win back what they have lost but they cannot do that and keep their big money contributors happy. If they promised free college or student debt abolition or a $15 per hour minimum wage they would surely resurrect themselves. But all of those policy positions are diametrically opposed to what their fat cat benefactors will allow. Simply put, they will not bite the hands that feed them. That is why Hillary Clinton lost enough states to give Donald Trump an Electoral College victory.” ~ Black Agenda Report commentator Margaret Kimberley
*Next week’s column will feature analysis on how Hartford filing for bankruptcy would decimate the public sector, the largest employer of Black people and women, while being a windfall for predatory bankers.
Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and world news headlines. https://twitter.com/CommunityParty1 Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary. https://www.facebook.com/david.samuels.948  Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives https://www.facebook.com/wqtqfm and So-Metro Radio the first, third and fifth Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM for commentary on urban issues http://www.sometroradio.com/  Check out our No Sellout blog (https://hendu39.wordpress.com/) for the complete archive of CP columns and Northend Agent’s archive for selected columns (http://www.northendagents.com/). Contact us at samuelssloflo@aol.com.   

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