Mayor’s Statement on S.A. Report of
Officer Involved Shooting Incident
Good afternoon: With me today are Legislative Council President Mick McGarry and Chief Cappiello.
Six months ago an extremely disturbing incident occurred, one that we universally wish never happened. The main thing I have been very thankful for is that no one lost their life that day. The victims and their families remain very much in my mind, as does working to prevent anything like this from happening again.
After reading the State’s Attorney’s Report, I appreciate how seriously they took their investigation. The State’s Attorney focused on this case with integrity and professionalism, and the report reflects this. I respect the decision of the State’s Attorney to prosecute Officer Eaton on these three very serious charges related to the shooting. The investigation was thorough and carefully weighed significant evidence before arriving at today’s charges.
The Hamden Police Ethics and Integrity Unit, commonly known as Internal Affairs, concurrently has an extensive and ongoing internal investigation underway, with the support of a third party consultant who has extensive experience investigating officer-involved shootings. This State report delivered today and the evidence it contains can now be carefully reviewed and included in Hamden’s internal investigation. I know that the Hamden Police Department will move forward in the same focused, thorough and professional manner as has been demonstrated by the State’s Attorney.
As legally prescribed and after receiving and reviewing the IA report, the Police Chief Cappiello will make recommendations to the Police Commission, who is empowered to render any discipline, up to and including termination, after the completion of a formal hearing process. I am confident that they will discharge their duties in good faith.
We are all deeply concerned by what we have seen. We should be. That said, in order for the process to maintain its integrity and ultimate outcomes, the legal process needs to be followed carefully and responsibly.
In conclusion I would like to acknowledge the efforts of all parties, and especially State’s Attorney Pat Griffin, who has conducted himself in a forthright, conscientious and professional manner since arriving at the scene the morning of the shooting.
We can’t change the past, but we can all strive to do better every day moving forward. I want to use this opportunity to bring attention to the ongoing efforts of HPD to address pressing issues identified as a result of this incident and embracing positive and proactive changes that will make our community and the hard working men and women of the Hamden Police Department safer and stronger.
While I am usually far more open and available to discuss Hamden issues with you in great detail, it would be inappropriate for me to make any further specific comments at this time due to both the ongoing Hamden IA investigation and based on these criminal charges.