Charges Dropped Against Man Who Recorded Cop's ‘Trigger Happy' Comment

Charges have been dropped against the man who recorded a Hartford police officer when he warned a group of young people not to flee or fight because he was "trigger happy," according to the State’s Attorney in Hartford. Charges filed against his friends have also been dropped. 

Officers were initially called to investigate a potential gun and narcotics complaint on Heath Street in Hartford one night in August and Rashawn Johnson was issued a summons for trespassing.

Johnson said he and his friends were doing nothing wrong, just having drinks outside a friend’s house, when police pulled up and he started recording out of fear. 

After the Facebook video surfaced, which shows Sgt. Stephen Barone telling the group that if they tried to flee, he's a "little trigger happy" and added he gets paid overtime if he has to shoot someone, some local and community leaders called on Police Chief David Rosado to fire Barone and drop the trespassing charges against the Johnson and the others who were on Heath Street the night of the interaction. 

“I’m happy the charges have been dropped, but I feel like this is only the outcome of me videotaping what happened and if I hadn’t videotaped it there would be no justice for me and my friends and I feel this officer still needs to be held accountable,” Johnson said. 

Barone was demoted and assigned to desk duty after an internal affairs investigation found he violated the department's code of conduct. 

Mayor Luke Bronin said the disciplinary process could take several weeks. 

Barone had no comment for NBC Connecticut Thursday, and his union representative at the Hartford Police Department did not respond to a request for comment. 

A hearing for Barone to answer to charges is set for Sept. 11. 

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