Civil Rights Teams Demand Accountability from the Hartford Police Division – NBC Connecticut

Community leaders and civil rights activists are calling for greater accountability from the Hartford Police Department after a detective allegedly sent text messages to other officials suggesting a bet on where the first murder would take place in 2021.

Police Chief Jason Thody made a statement on Facebook discussing the details of the internal incident. According to Chief Thody, a detective from the Serious Crimes Division sent a text to other officials and court officials suggesting that they would bet on where the first murder of the year will take place in 2021.

“You take an oath to protect and serve, and when you hear these kinds of situations, you know suspicions instantly rise again,” said Corrie Betts, chair of the criminal justice system for the Connecticut NAACP. “Accountability and leadership start at the top.”

Police said Detective Jeffrey Placzek faces serious disciplinary action and has been removed from the Serious Crime Division.

Other community groups believe that the officer’s actions represent a certain culture within the Hartford Police Department.

“I think it’s a failure in the leadership of the Hartford Police Department,” said Joanna Iovino, executive director of Citizens Opposed to Police States. “It’s the whole climate of the police.”

#ICYMI: Hartford PD faces backlash from the community following actions by an officer. Allegedly, a detective made a bet with other officers as to where the first murder will take place in 2021. We have a reaction from civil rights and city guides at 5 a.m. on @NBCConnecticut

– Dominique Moody (@dmoodytv) December 7, 2020

Iovino believes the police force as we know them will have to go through a number of changes.

“It is the entire system that is flawed, and as long as the system is allowed to continue it will not change just because of what it is based on and where it comes from,” said Iovino. “I was absolutely disgusted, but I see that there is a much bigger problem than a single detective.”

Mayor Luke Bronin issued a statement on the incident, which read in part: “Chief Thody and I learned that an HPD detective recently sent a text to a group of other officials and court officials suggesting a bet where the first murder would take place in our community The casualness, callousness and heartlessness of this text are disgusting, and sending such a text shows a disregard for life and our community that is totally inappropriate for a Hartford police officer. ”

“This is a symptom you get from a system that, from a legal perspective, has largely compromised the ability to hold the police largely accountable,” said Dan Barrett, legal director of Connecticut’s ACLU. “It’s not just a question of this man who did this thing, it’s a question of looking at all of your work, and it’s no wonder why people in CT, and especially places like Hartford, consider the police to be an occupying force.” ”

Kevin Brookman, a blogger covering the city of Hartford, posted a blog post on Friday regarding the incident with the officer.

“The leadership within the police department needs to be more accountable,” Brookman said. “There has to be a top-down tone and such behavior should have no place in the police department.”

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