Man accused of Bridgeport police claims excessive force in lawsuit

A Bridgeport man who was shot with a stun gun announced Thursday that he is suing Bridgeport police.

Video shows a man in Bridgeport being shot with a stun gun by police. The man’s attorney said officers used excessive force.

The encounter took place between Bridgeport’s Angelo Tompkins, 33, and city police officers around 8:30 p.m. on Monday near Hallett and North Pole streets on the city’s East Side.

Police have defended the officer’s use of the stun gun, but Tompkins’ attorney, Darnell Crosland, said the incident was “an indefensible example of excessive force.”

“They could only use tasers if they were responding to violent crime. There was no violent crime here,” Crosland said. “Using tasers and stun guns is dangerous. It has been known to cause heart attacks and even death.”

News 12 agreed to blur the officer’s face because authorities say he works undercover.

The video shows the officer deploying a stun gun during an exchange of words between him and Tompkins.

Officials said Bridgeport police narcotics agents and deputies were conducting active patrols on Hallett and Arctic streets on the east side of the city. As officers approached the intersection in an unmarked patrol car, they spotted a child who appeared to be being teased and bullied by two adult men. These men had previously been advised by police not to roam the area.

Police body cam videos showing what happened before and after cell phone video show no bullying.Tompkins denies bullying. He says he was “harmlessly playing” with a boy who was the son of a close friend of his.

Below is an audio excerpt from the body cam video.

Policeman: “Do you have an ID?”
Tompkins: “Why do you need to see my ID?”
Officer: “For loitering.”
Tompkins: “Where are you hanging around? My friend lives here. I’m going to take this upstairs and wash the dishes.”
Moments later, officers say they have Tompkins in custody, and a stun gun is deployed.

Crosland says Tompkins was arrested, held for about seven hours, and charged with obstruction. Tompkins filed a complaint against the officers in addition to his lawsuit.

“Tomkins disobeyed a lawful order and was arrested, but there was no misconduct by the police,” city officials said.

“For the purpose of ensuring transparency regarding the cell phone video incident, the first few minutes involving all parties captured by the officer’s body-worn camera have been made public,” the police said in a statement. According to initial reports, on August 22, 2022, around 8:30 p.m., Bridgeport Police Narcotics Agents and Deputy Officers were active in the Hallett Street and Arctic Street neighborhoods on the east side of the city. When a police officer approached an intersection in an unmarked police vehicle, they said he was being teased and bullied by two adult men. A policeman had previously told him not to roam the area. Part of the footage captured by the officer’s body-worn camera. The incident resulted in the arrest of one of the parties.

“The circumstances surrounding our client’s arrest are indefensible and it is highly irresponsible for the City of Bridgeport to issue a statement that the use of force was justified,” Crosland said in a statement. Use of force form after using his or her gun or taser. The department will then conduct an investigation and a report will be produced. Lack of leadership and accountability within the City of Bridgeport or the Bridgeport Police Department , is clear to our community. This is highlighted in the way the cases of Lauren Smith-Fields and Brenda Lee Rawls are being handled, and was evident again in the Tompkins case. demands accountability.

Video of the Bridgeport police stun incident

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