Bridgeport swears in new officers following police brutality allegations


 
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) -- Bridgeport is getting some new cops on the heels of police brutality allegations. 28 new officers are graduating from the academy just one week after a YouTube video surfaced showing officers kicking a hand-cuffed suspect.

After two alleged incidents of brutality, the bridgeport police department is trying rebuild its reputation and the newly sworn-in officers hope they can help.

28 graduates of the Bridgeport Police academy saluted, shook hands and took the oath. Some will work in neighboring communities and 19 will serve in the state's largest city.

"This is my home town and I'm glad to be working for my home town," said Officer Juan Esquilin.

Bridgeport swears in these new cops the same week the department received two complaints of police brutality.

The first complain came from Olando Lopez-Soto. In a video taken more than a year ago, Lopez-Soto was handcuffed as he was kicked and stomped on by Bridgeport Police. Those Officers are now on administrative duty.

"There's no excuse for that. I mean, the guy was handcuffed. I don't know the circumstances, I don't know what happened before or whatever but I do pray for these officers," said Officer. Esquilin.

The second complaint of excessive force comes from a family of five, charged with breach of peace and interfering with an officer. They say officers harassed them and tazed the father of the family, sending him to the hospital.

The message today was to respect residents of the communities they serve.

"Remember, kindness is not a sign of weakness," said Chief Gaudett. "How you act reflects on all of us. Make us proud."

"Get to know you're community because you never know when you're going to need their help," said Officer Esquilin