The following editorial is written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today
NORWALK, CT- You probably should check for surveillance cameras before you make unfounded allegations against someone that could cost them their career.
That is the pickle a Connecticut state legislator finds himself in after he made allegations that he was spit at by an officer of the Norwalk, Connecticut police department on July 24.
State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff says he was recently intimidated by as many as 30 Norwalk police officers.https://t.co/TySOBnMdsp
— The Darien Times (@DarienTimes) September 2, 2020
State Sen. Bob Duff, the state’s Senate majority leader claimed that on that date, he was having a conversation with two Norwalk police officers at the Norwalk police station, according to the Stamford Advocate.
Duff had attended a meeting with the police union’s executive board to discuss recent legislation passed by the Connecticut legislature and signed by Gov. Ned Lamont.
The legislation was strongly opposed by pro-law enforcement groups and police officers and was passed along party lines.
Among the bills’ “highlights” were bans on so-called “chokeholds,” eliminating qualified immunity for police officers, and implementing a number of other restrictions on officers. In other words, the Connecticut state legislature bowed to the mob. And police officers were not happy.
When Duff arrived at the Norwalk police department, the Advocate said that he was greeted with officers who were clearly displeased that he was there, with officers being accused of using expletives in addressing Duff, at least according to him.
— News12CT (@News12CT) September 16, 2020
While Duff was speaking to union leaders, he claims that officers of the department entered the room in what Duff referred to as a “show of force.” While one might give Duff credit for actually showing his face to police officers after he led the charge to throw them under the bus, he should have expected he wouldn’t be greeted with sunshine and bubbles.
“After the meeting ended, I was asked by an officer not on the executive board for a few minutes of my time. As we were talking, the single door opened and I saw one of your officers, and about twenty other officers behind him.
He then looked at me in a menacing manner, and spit at me. Yes, spit at me,” Duff said in an Aug. 20 letter addressed to the president of the Norwalk Police Union, David O’Connor.
Review of the video, obtained by a blog Nancy on Norwalk, however shows that Duff is not telling the truth. In other words, he lied.
In reviewing the surveillance video, which has no sound, the officer, who was apparently Off. Mike Silva opens the door, looks at Duff who was speaking to the two other officers and appears to bend down, ostensibly to spit on the ground.
It should be noted that Duff can be seen in the reflection of the windows and he doesn’t make any type of defensive move as if he had been “spit at.”
It is difficult to tell how far away Silva was from Duff, but it appears to be around ten feet or so. Duff is standing down a few stairs. After allegedly being “spit at,” Duff is so scared and intimidated that he continued speaking to the officers for a few more minutes.
In other words, Duff is a fraud and trying to use this for some type of political gain, or perhaps to justify his vote to screw over police in the state.
When the Advocate reached out to Duff for comment, he claimed that the “video didn’t adequately capture the incident.” Yet, Duff had no problem passing a law to tie the hands of police officers based upon miniscule statistics showing police abuse of minorities.
How many laws have been passed based on “video that didn’t adequately capture the incident?” Good for the goose, not the gander, eh Sen. Duff?
When asked about the meeting, O’Connor said that officers were allowed in and that some had asked some “pointed” questions about the legislation, however he said overall the meeting was cordial in nature.
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O’Connor noted that he had told officers at the beginning of the meeting to “be respectful.”
Duff also made the claim that “30 officers came outside and looked ‘as if they were going to surround my car.’”
“Whether that was their intention or not, I don’t know, but it appeared to be another bullying and intimidation tactic,” Duff said in his letter.
Once again, surveillance video determined that was a lie. While there were somewhere in the neighborhood of 12 officers or so, the officers remained on the sidewalk while appearing to stare Duff down. He was hardly “surrounded.” But it makes for great dramatic effect!
Sen. Duff, there’s a saying…”If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Did you honestly think the Norwalk police officers, or any police department for that matter would greet you with tea and crumpets after you just stuck it squarely where the sun doesn’t shine two months ago? Please.
This past Tuesday in a statement, O’Connor spoke additionally to the video:
“It is unfortunate that a misperception of a recent meeting with our officers has generated such division in our community. We hope that this footage helps to clarify some of these harmful misperceptions.”
“Our meeting with Senator Duff was not contentious, despite statements to the contrary,” O’Connor wrote. “In fact, our meeting was cordial…No officer spit at Sen. Duff. After the meeting (as seen in the footage) an officer did make a spitting gesture on the ground on his way back in the building. He did not spit at Senator Duff as is made clear by the footage.”
O’Connor also noted that Duff left the parking lot safely and without being obstructed.
“Let us temper our emotions during a time the public relies on leaders to forge solutions on their behalf,” he continues in the statement. “It’s time for everyone to work together and check their egos at the door on behalf of sound public safety and protecting our citizens.”
Duff had a meeting with Norwalk’s police chief, Thomas Kulhawik, who is looking into Duff’s complaints. The two-hour meeting, which Duff called Frank, accomplished little.
@NorwalkCtPD Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik talked to me on @wnpr about his meeting Friday with Senator Bob Duff as the pair discussed the Senate Majority Leader's accusation that Norwalk officers tried to intimidate him. https://t.co/ZAcIF4L0nD
— John Henry Smith (@jhsthethird) September 4, 2020
As a means to thank Duff for his support of police, the Norwalk Police Union voted unanimously to endorse the entire Republican slate of candidates running for the state legislature in November, including Duff’s opponent Ellie Kousidis.
See ya Bob Duff https://t.co/KHcXgWs7B4
— Stop5GCT (@Stop5GCT) September 15, 2020
That seems to be going around. Recently, the Enfield, Connecticut police union also endorsed two Republican House candidates for their respective elections in the 58th and 59th Connecticut House districts.
Nationally, police are overwhelmingly supporting Republican candidates who have supported police as opposed to violent criminals.
Besides, nobody likes a fraud…least of all cops. And Duff has shown himself to be one gigantic lying fraud.
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