A large crowd of protesters marched in Bridgeport after the Waterbury State’s Attorney announced that a Bridgeport police officer who shot and killed a teen during a traffic stop would not face charges for the incident.
Bridgeport Police Chief Armando Perez has said Officer James Boulay opened fire when a stolen SUV driven by 15-year-old Jayson Negron suddenly went into reverse and nearly ran over Boulay on May 9. Another man was also injured.
On Friday the Waterbury State’s Attorney released its report on the investigation, which concluded that Boulay was justified in his use of force.
But supports of Negron, who had been calling for criminal charges in the case, did not accept that decision. At a rally at the site of the shooting they gathered in a show of support and the protest the findings of that report.
Chanting and marching, family, friends and community members joined together in the name of Jayson Negron
Hundreds marched from the spot of the shooting to city hall, calling the news devastating and demanding Bridgeport Police Chief Armando Perez resign and officer Boulay be prosecuted.
“This decision doesn't break us. This decision doesn't make us feel weak. we fought so hard for Jayson up to this point and we're going to keep fighting for jayson,” said Negron’s sister Jazmarie Melendez.
Attorney Peter Finch, who represents Julian Fyffe, the man injured in the shooting, told NBC Connecticut they will pursue civil recourse.
"I am aware that no criminal charges are being brought against the Bridgeport Police Officer Boulay, but that does not resolve the civil aspect of this case and I look forward to bringing that to its conclusion on behalf of my client Julian Fyffe," Finch said.
Perez released a statement in response to the conclusion of the investigation.
“This is a very difficult time for the community and for my department. This was a tragic event where a police officer made a split-second decision. I want to express my deepest sympathies to Jayson Negron’s family and to the community as we work through this terrible incident.
I am committed to working with our local and state leaders to build bridges with all of our citizens as we go through this difficult healing process.”
Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim also released a statement that read, in part:
“I extend my deepest sympathies to the family of Jayson Negron and all those effected by this terrible tragedy. I stand in solidarity with the community in peaceful and constructive means to express our feelings and emotions through this difficult healing process."
The ACLU of Connecticut expressed its disappointment with the decision and claimed this was an issue of police accountability and racism.
“Maureen Platt’s decision not to press charges against Bridgeport police officer James Boulay is part of a pattern of police not being held accountable when they hurt, kill, and discriminate against Black and brown adults and children in Connecticut and across the country. The state’s unjustifiable delay in releasing video footage of the shooting is also the latest example of Connecticut police and prosecutors ignoring public demands for transparency after police kill,” wrote David McGuire, executive director of the ACLU of Connecticut.