The State’s Attorney in Waterbury has cleared a Bridgeport police officer in the fatal shooting last year of a 15-year-old boy.
The report released late Friday afternoon prompted sobs from relatives of Jayson Negron, who was a high school sophomore when he was killed on May 9, 2017. Family and activists had gathered at a Waterbury courthouse as they awaited word of the state's decision.
State’s Attorney Maureen Platt said in the report that police Officer James Boulay, a rookie on the force, was justified in shooting Negron after a brief car chase in Bridgeport.
The investigative report said Boulay fired his weapon after Negron, behind the wheel of a stolen car, reversed and hit Boulay as the officer reached into the car to apprehend the teenager.
A coalition called Justice for Jayson that has been working with Negron’s family called the police investigation a "sham" and said Negron was a victim of excessive force. Activists had demanded that Boulay be charged with murder. The officer was placed on administrative leave after the shooting, pending the outcome of the report.
“The precedent of these things is that the officer is always exonerated,” said Jeannia Fu, a spokeswoman for Justice for Jayson. “We are going to keep fighting this... . It just can’t be that cops can go around killing black and brown youth and nothing happens to them. That’s insane.”
The coalition is demanding that the investigation be reopened, Fu said Friday.
David McGuire, executive director for ACLU of Connecticut, said in a statement that the state's decision not to press charges "is the latest sign that the government employees who are supposed to enforce the law have no one enforcing the law on them."
As supporters of Negron's family dispersed from the courthouse, a passerby shouted, "I support the police!"
Demonstrators planned to gather in Bridgeport Friday evening for what organizers described as a celebration of Negron’s life.
This report is part of the public radio collaborative “Sharing America,” covering the intersection of race, identity and culture. The initiative is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and includes reporters in Hartford, Conn., Kansas City and St. Louis, Mo., and Portland, Ore.