Hartford Chief: Officers Did Their Job, Nappier Didn't Do Anything Wrong

Sep 12, 2011

Hartford Police are still investigating the traffic stop of State Treasurer Denise Nappier that ended with the treasurer walking three miles home. But other than a possible unfortunate exchange, Hartford Police Chief Daryl Roberts says that neither Nappier nor police officers appear to have done anything wrong. Nappier was stopped on September 1st.  She initially told the Hartford Courant that she wondered whether she was stopped because she was black, in a black car, in a black neighborhood.  Police union officials later said Nappier was stopped because her car was at the scene of an active emergency call.   Police eventually confiscated Nappier's car and charged her with motor vehicle violations, after it appeared that the car was unregistered.   Now, Hartford Police Chief Daryl Roberts has weighed in. "We've got to look at what happened, the conversation between the two, the Madame Treasurer and the police officer, but outside of that it looks like there's no wrongdoing on either part at this point." In a statement issued Saturday, Nappier called the incident a "convergence of unfortunate circumstances" and she conceded that she "expressed frustration" during the stop.  The treasurer also took issue with a police union statement that officers offered her a ride home -- that, the treasurer said, was a "fictitious account." Chief Roberts says his officers acted reasonably when they stopped Nappier and he blamed much of the mixup on paperwork and registration errors at the state.  The only question in the chief's mind appears to be the nature and tone of the conversation between his officers and Nappier. "I can say with certainty that Ms. Nappier didn't do anything wrong. and I can say with certainty the police officer was doing her job, but we need to investigate to determine all of the facts." Union officials have said they feared one of their officers would be disciplined in the matter. Roberts says a commander in his department is investigating. For WNPR, I'm Jeff Cohen.