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New Haven Police Sergeant Fired After Internal Affairs Investigation

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New Haven police sergeant Shayna Kendall has been fired after an internal affairs investigation that found she violated numerous department policies, according to New Haven Police.

New Haven police chief Karl Jacobson had recommended terminating Kendall after the internal affairs investigation, according to police, then the Civilian Review Board reviewed the investigation and agreed with Jacobson’s recommendation.

On Tuesday night, it went in front of the Board of Police Commissioners and they voted to terminate Sergeant Kendall, New Haven police said. 

“It is unfortunate that these events took place and that I had to recommend the termination of a Sergeant from our department, but I am committed to the people of New Haven and to the procedural justice that I hope will build a better bond between our officers and the community,” Jacobson said in a statement.

The investigation surrounded a complaint made by a woman about a traffic stop on Ella Grasso Boulevard on the morning of July 7, 2021.

The woman said she pulled up behind a silver SUV at a light on Crescent Street around 7 a.m. The SUV didn't move when the light turned green, so she tapped on her horn, according to the complaint. She said the SUV then moved and the woman turned onto Ella Grasso Boulevard.

It was at that point that the woman said the SUV made a U-turn and put its flashing lights on and pulled up behind her. She said at first, she wasn't sure it was a police vehicle, but eventually pulled over.

The woman told investigators the SUV pulled up alongside her and rolled down the passenger side window and a woman identified herself as a police officer, but did not give her name. She said the woman scolded her for beeping her horn and wouldn't let her continue on her way to work. She described the incident as road rage and she said she felt harassed.

"This appears to be a road rage incident on behalf of Sgt. Kendall. That's not treating the community with respect and dignity," Jacobson said.

Investigators searched records in the department and could find no mentions or audio recordings of the traffic stop in its database. They concluded the traffic stop involving the woman was never communicated to the New Haven Public Safety Answering Point.

Based on the license plate number given to investigators by the woman who filed the complaint, they determined the SUV in question was assigned to Kendall.

According to the Internal Affairs report, Kendall gave a different account of the incident. She told investigators she thought the driver was driving erratically and may have been in distress. She told investigators she didn't recall engaging her emergency lights, and that she pulled alongside the woman to make sure she was ok.

Kendall was not in uniform at the time of the incident and told investigators she was running late for work and considered herself off duty when she encountered the driver even though her scheduled shift had begun.

Investigators determined there were enough discrepancies in Kendall's account of the events that they believed the woman's story, according to the report.

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