Editor Note: The lawmaker continues to serve in Connecticut, having been in office since 1997. Scroll to see her inflammatory comments and then read on for the letter from the wife of a police officer responding to her.
In the state of Connecticut, we’re facing an uphill battle. We’re surrounded by lawmakers who put their own political agendas ahead of the will of their constituents.
Who is suffering? All of us – including those who hold The Thin Blue Line.
But you know what’s starting to happen? The men and women who stand BEHIND them are starting to rise up and declare “enough is enough.”
Allow me to share with you some fighting words from one such lawmaker in Connecticut last year.
“This bill is to hold accountable and to stop those cowboys that, because they got a bat and a gun, they think they can go shooting especially young kids in our community. This is not the Wild Wild West. And no consequences. Those cowboys doesn’t belong in the police department. This abuse has got to stop.”
Ah, the words of another out-of-touch politician who made the massive mistake of going after the WRONG community.
Hartford’s 3rd District State Representative Minnie Gonzalez made her remarks in front of the Connecticut Legislature’s General Assembly regarding a Police Accountability bill.
Thousands of people have taken to social media since her comments to call out Gonzalez and demand an apology. But it was the wife of a Hartford police officer who put it best in an open letter she penned to the ignorant lawmaker.
Today, I share with you this letter. And I don’t think anything more needs to be said … other than to ask ANY man and woman who stands behind our first responders to share it as well.
To State Representative Minnie Gonzalez:
I am the proud wife of a Hartford Police Officer and Air Force Veteran. The men and women of the Hartford Police Department are some of the finest people I know, and have more integrity than you could ever wish to have.
They serve their communities with pride, dedication, and distinction. These officers put their lives on the line every single day, for little pay, little recognition, and with very little support from elected politicians. These men and women go into their neighborhoods every day truly trying to make a difference, something you know nothing about.
The comments made by you on June 5, 2017 in defense of bill HB6663 were appalling, ignorant, and unnecessary. While you stated that you support the HPD and its officers, your statements were a direct contradiction to that. Let me address them one by one.
You stated that the officers were cowboys with guns and bats. I’m not sure I have ever seen them wear cowboy hats or boots to work. I have seen officers on horseback, however they were not herding cattle.
I have seen my husband come home with blood on his boots and tears in his eyes as he has faced some of the most horrific acts humans can do to one another.
I’ve watched him on phone calls with other officers, consoling them as they attempted to come to terms with the suicide call, or child abuse case, or the senseless murders that occur all too frequently.
You stated that there are good and bad cops, you are correct. There are far more good ones than bad, which is more than I can say for politicians. The vast majority of police officers joined the force to do good, to make a change, and to be positive influences in their communities.
You stated that HPD officers have good pay, good benefits, and a good pension. What you fail to mention is that their good pay comes from countless hours of overtime, or road jobs (which are not paid for by the city, and the city actually makes money off of), you fail to mention the missed birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and special occasions they have missed in order to protect your ignorance.
From my understanding, you get paid a hefty stipend for being an elected official, receive benefits, and will receive a pension.
You stated that “you” pay for the officers’ lunch and dinner. I’m not sure how you determined that, as I send my husband with his meals daily, while he works his 16-hour shifts. He frequently comes home with his meals still in his bag, as they do not get a lunch break, and is often lucky if he can even get a bite in between calls.
You stated that these “cowboys” are killing young kids in our community with no consequences, and this abuse needs to stop.
Since 2005 there have been 20 Officer Involved Shootings according to HPD data.
That’s one shooting every 219 days by an officer. Considering the amount of public interaction, and the calls for service, this equates to a less than 1% chance of being shot by a police officer in Hartford.
The last time a person was killed by a police officer in Hartford was in 2013, a whole 4 years ago, and it was entirely justified. Again, your ignorance is glaring, and your abuse of police officers needs to be stopped.
You stated that you pass laws frequently to protect and train police officers. The training is mandated by the State of CT, and you have done nothing to indemnify, or protect officers of your community. In fact, based on your history, I am not even sure how you can remain in office.
Your family has been called a “crime syndicate.”
You have been found guilty of elections violations, you have the “Minnie Gonzalez Little League,” which receives over $75,000 a year in taxpayer money, and is managed by your husband.
In fact, it seems as if you have a significant conflict of interest in presenting or debating any type of law enforcement bill, as taking power away from the police directly benefits you and your family.
It is very easy to sit in your safe office and make ignorant, untrue statements towards our officers. They need your support, not your condemnation.
You lack integrity, honesty, and decency. You should take a ride along with a Hartford Police Officer on a Saturday night during the summer, and see what they are exposed to.
Have you ever taken simulation training? I’m sure you would not make accurate split-second decisions that you expect from our officers. You truly should be ashamed of your statements against HPD and in fact should issue a very public apology for condemning them in the way you did.
The Wife Of A Hartford Police Officer
P.S.: Here is the link to your inaccurate, cowardly statements, to refresh your memory: