The Waterbury State’s Attorney announced Friday that Connecticut will not press charges against the police officer who fatally shot a 15-year-old in May 2016, prompting civilian protests and disapproval from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Connecticut.
Bridgeport officer James Boulay shot Jayson Negron after Negron suddenly reversed a stolen SUV, nearly running Boulay over, according to NBC Connecticut.
The state’s attorney declined to file charges after an investigation ruled Boulay was defending himself and therefore his actions were justified, according to NBC.
“Officer James Boulay has stated that he was in fear of being dragged under the Subaru being operated by Jayson Negron and discharged his weapon only after he had been struck by the vehicle and believed that he was about to be subjected to serious bodily harm,” a report released by the Waterbury State’s Attorney said.
According to the report, there was damage to the vehicle consistent with Boulay’s version of events and multiple witnesses claim they saw the car hit Boulay before he opened fire.
The report states medical assistance was called for Negron and vehicle passenger Julian Fyffe 12 seconds after the report of gunshots and the first paramedic arrived eight minutes later, but Fyffe and Negron’s family claim the two were left bleeding on the street for almost 20 minutes before receiving medical help, according to NBC.
Around 350 family members, friends and members of activist organizations protested peacefully at Negron’s memorial in Bridgeport around 5 p.m. the night the decision was announced, according to the Connecticut Post.
Negron’s sister Jazmarie Melendez told the protesters there has to be a “change to the system.”
“I want to be hugging my brother,” Melendez said. “I want to be home but we have to fight because I don’t want another brother, I don’t want another sister, I don’t want my friends, I don’t want the people who are here to have to deal with this anymore.”
ACLU of CT director David McGuire said in a press release Jayson Negron “should be alive today.”
McGuire said the State’s Attorney’s decision not to press charges against Boulay is part of “a pattern of police not being held accountable when they hurt, kill and discriminate against Black and brown adults and children in Connecticut and across the country.”
“(Friday’s) announcement is the latest sign that the government employees who are supposed to enforce the law have no one enforcing the law on them,” McGuire said. “Prosecutors and police should not expect the benefit of the doubt regarding their investigations into police uses of force when all signs point to a system that does not hold police accountable.”
McGuire said “(ACLU of Connecticut) will continue to fight for a world in which police answer to the constitution and the people they serve, not their own self-imposed and self-enforced rules.”
“We will continue to strive for a day when police no longer behave like occupying forces,” McGuire said.
Gabriella DeBenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.