Note that the videos below are all raw (shot with my HTC Evo 5 via Cop Block’s Bambuser channel, my chest-mounted GoPro, and/or my Canon Vixia HF R10. At the conclusion of The Cop Block Tour I’ll make time to put-together some solid, over-arching videos using content from this stop.
Saturday night, Jan. 19th, 2013, I had my first interactions with police employees of Bridgeport, Connecticut. I was in town as part of The Cop Block Tour. Let’s just say that I didn’t leave impressed.
In fact, I don’t recall ever having been exposed to such blatant hostility right out of the gates as was had on the streets of east Bridgeport from those who steal money from residents under the auspices of “serving” them.
How can such people sleep at night?
I rolled into town and connected with Angel Martinez, who founded Connecticut Cop Block and we walked up and down E. Main Street doing outreach.
Connecticut Cop Block
As has always been the case in my experience, most everyone was receptive. Well, except for one guy who I think believed I was a cop (despite the fact that I was wearing a vest that had “CopBlock.org” stitched on the back) and some folks wearing badges.
The first interaction with the latter was early on – we saw vehicle with “Connecticut State Police” graphics idling on the corner:
Here’s another look from my GoPro:
We continued on doing outreach for a while, which inevitably included many conversations of area residents who shared with us their own stories of being mistreated at the hands of Bridgeport police employees, such as this man:
Later, when about to call it a night, we saw up the street some flashing blue lights. We hopped in my Tahoe, drove up the block, parked, and approached on foot. Immediately, the three vehicles with “Bridgeport Police Department” graphics grew to six or seven, with the occupants of the new vehicles on the scene spending their time threatening us (to steal our cameras as “evidence”) and just generally not being too transparent (following our every move with their pillar-mounted spotlight):
We left the scene and rather than return to my truck, which I thought would make it easier for our so-claimed “protectors” to harass us, we walked back to Angels. Those with “Bridgeport PD” badges must have really cared about us getting home safely as they followed us the whole way:
We went back to Angel’s place for a couple of hours and brainstormed (stay tuned for a new awesome addition to Cop Block being spearheaded by Angel!) and I interviewed Angel about his motivations, ideas and his own recent negative interaction with Bridgeport police employees.
Later, we hoofed it back to my truck only to discover a Bridgeport police employee idling in the middle of the street, about 50′ behind my truck. I also found a 50FRN ransom note on my truck for allegedly blocking the sidewalk, which was clearly not reality.
I attempted to have a civil conversation but it was demonstrated that such an effort was a one-way street.
Since I had a tour schedule to stick-to I decided to jump in my truck and chance getting out of Bridgeport without further harassment from members of the largest area gang. I was followed out of the neighborhood and down the interstate for a number of miles. If you were a Bridgeport resident is that the type of “service” you’d willingly pay for??