Connecticut state trooper put on leave over 'disturbing' rant on video

Connecticut state trooper put on leave over 'disturbing' rant on video
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A Connecticut state trooper has been placed on administrative leave after a video was released depicting the officer yelling at a man who was pulled over for allegedly speeding, state police said. 

Col. Stavros Mellekas, the deputy commissioner of the state police, called the trooper Matthew Spina’s behavior in the video “disturbing.”

“It is not indicative of the great work of the women and men of the Connecticut State Police and their dedication to protecting and serving during this pandemic,” Mellekas said in a statement Tuesday. 

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Mellekas said an internal affairs investigation has been initiated and Spina has been placed on administrative capacity which “does not allow him to interact with the public.”

Police said according to some preliminary information obtained, Spina was conducting a motor vehicle enforcement in an area near Interstate 95 Southbound ahead of the Pearl Harbor memorial bridge in New Haven 

A video posted to Youtube on Monday shows Spina berating a man, identified by NBC News as Kevin Jette, after pulling him over for allegedly speeding. 

“Do you want to f---ing run your mouth? No problem, you came to the right guy. Step out, come on,” Spina is heard saying on the video, which had more than 381,000 views as of Thursday. 

Spina is also heard questioning Jette about marijuana and makes Jette exit the car and briefly puts him in handcuffs. Jette is heard responding to the trooper that he has a license for medical marijuana. Spina searches a backpack in the car before letting Jette leave. 

“Shut your f---ing mouth and mind your own business and be on your way. Don’t you ever f--- with me again,” Spina is heard saying before driving off. 

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In a separate video posted to Youtube on Tuesday, Jette said before he was pulled over he had noticed a car “driving erratically” behind him and “gave him a finger,” not realizing it was a police officer. 

“Once I realized it was an officer, I pulled my hand back in. Even still, that police officer had no reason to do what he had. He was acting like a loose cannon, somebody who doesn’t have the mental capacity to be a police officer,” Jette said. 

The Connecticut State Police also shared video footage of the incident that was obtained from the troopers dash cam and the body worn camera that was docked in a charging station during the duration of the traffic stop. 

The video footage shared by the department does not have audio of the interaction, but the dash cam footage shows the trooper briefly placing the man in handcuffs before searching his bag. 

No enforcement action was taken during the course of the traffic stop, police said.