Community Speaks Out After Video Shows Violent Struggle Between Waterbury PD, Suspect

NBC Universal, Inc.

Community members spoke out after a video captured Waterbury Police in a violent struggle with a suspect.

And on Monday, the chief was on hand to walk people through the events from earlier this month.

“How do we change and fix these things going forward?” one community member asked.

People took part in a conversation about building trust between the community and Waterbury Police.

And it comes after a video captured police using force while taking a suspect into custody earlier this month.

What the footage doesn’t show is that investigators say the man had not been cooperating, was carrying a loaded gun and is possibly linked to multiple shootings.

“It’s really important for us to make sure people have the information. The police department, the city is transparent,” Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo said.

Waterbury police arrested a man Thursday afternoon while investigating a report of a man loading a firearm and causing a disturbance.

Police provided details about what unfolded that day as they tried to answer peoples' questions and concerns. Previously, the department had met with the NAACP.

“We realized it was warranted but you are still left with those perceptions versus reality feelings and you’re feeling some kind of way. How do I explain that to myself? How do I explain that to my community?” said Wendy Tyson-Wood, Greater Waterbury NAACP president.

The NAACP says it’s had a long-standing relationship with the police department. Something that is being tested now.

“It’s strained. It’s very strained,” Tyson-Wood said.

Some say their issues with the department go beyond just this one case.

Police say while they’re invested in building bonds, people need to raise concerns.

“We try to take the community’s input into the way we operate because ultimately it is their needs we’re trying to care for,” Spagnolo said.

Those involved say this conversation about building trust does not end after Monday’s forum. More community events are being planned.

Contact Us