00:49 GMT +315 December 2019
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    Connecticut Police Fire Officer Caught Calling Himself ‘Trigger Happy’ (VIDEO)

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    Hartford, Connecticut, police officer Stephen Barone has been fired following the release of a viral video showing him detaining a group of seven young young, mostly black and Latino people and telling them that he is “trigger happy.”

    Barone had detained the juveniles on suspicion of trespassing. "If anybody wants to fight or run, I'm a little trigger happy, guys. I'm not going to lie. I get paid a ton of money in overtime if I have to shoot somebody, so don't do anything stupid," Barone, a sergeant with the Hartford Police Department at the time, tells them.

    The video was filmed on August 9.

    ​"It's clear to me that there's no scenario in which Mr. Barone can return to his duties as a productive member of the Hartford Police Department," Police Chief David Rosado said on Wednesday.

    Barone had been with the department for 10 years by the time of his firing. In 2016, he was disciplined for turning off his dashboard camera during a car chase that ended with another officer kicking a handcuffed man who was lying on the ground. The other officer was convicted of assault.

    For that incident, Barone was suspended for four days. Four months later, however, he was promoted to sergeant. 

    He was put on desk duty in September over the early August incident and had his salary lowered from $89,200 base pay to $76,800.

    In an interview with internal affairs, Barone said he could have used "a better choice of words," but claimed that what he said was "effective in maintaining control."

    Barone will be able to appeal his firing, as officers typically have union-drafted contracts with police departments that make it difficult to fire them and easy for them to protest their dismissals.

    Police officers in Hartford are rarely fired; however, another officer, Detective Robert Lanza, was let go in January after he used racial slurs against officers of another department who were arresting him for alleged drunk driving.

    Eighty-four percent of residents in the city, the capital of the state, are non-white. However, just 34 percent of police officers in the city are people of color, and only 7 percent of the department's officers actually live in the city. The video of Barone has refueled demands from the Hartford community for reform and better minority representation in the department.


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