A Hartford police officer who was recorded on video warning a group of young people not to flee or fight because he was “trigger happy” has been fired, the Hartford Police Department announced Wednesday.
Sgt. Stephen Barone was previously demoted to officer and assigned to desk duty, after an internal affairs investigation found he violated the department’s code of conduct.
A Facebook video that surfaced showed Barone telling a group he stopped that if they tried to flee, he’s a “little trigger happy” and added he gets paid overtime if he has to shoot someone.
Barone can be heard saying, “Let me let you in a little secret. I was (expletive) you before. When you shoot somebody you get no OT. My base salary, I’m going to make double this year. I would lose $70,000 if I shot somebody. I’m not (expletive) shooting anybody unless I have to. That means I got to sell my cars move from my nice house cuz’ that’s $70 grand less make a year.
An internal affairs report found Barone’s conduct discredited the Hartford Police Department, and that he violated the code of conduct and had a discourteous attitude.
Hartford Police Chief David Rosado released the following statement on Barone’s termination:
“Our success as a police department depends on our relationship with the community we serve. Every day, the men and women of the Hartford Police Department are out doing good police work with professionalism and respect, and this officer’s conduct does not reflect the values of our agency. I did not make this decision lightly. We hold ourselves to high standards, and when we fall short, we take responsibility for it. After reviewing the findings related to these two incidents, it’s clear to me that there’s no scenario in which Mr. Barone can return to his duties as a productive member of the Hartford Police Department. As a department, we are committed to building and rebuilding a strong relationship with residents across our city based on mutual respect, accountability, transparency, and a shared desire to live in a strong Hartford.”
NBC Connecticut has reached out to Barone repeatedly but he has declined to comment. During his administrative interview Barone was apologetic and stated he had no intention of using force if he did not need to, he wanted to gain their compliance through the use of words and that at the time he believed his words were effective to maintain control.