Police-bashing mayor skips funeral of fallen officer to go on radio show and pay tribute to dead groundhog

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The article contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today

Last week, the Manchester (CT) Police Department lost one of its own, when Sgt. Stephen Bresciano succumbed after a nearly two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Sgt. Bresciano honorably served the town of Manchester for almost 23 years.

At his memorial service on Thursday, October 22, hundreds of friends, family, and local law enforcement officers paid tribute to Sgt. Bresciano.

So, while hundreds of people were paying tribute to a long-time public servant, where was Manchester’s mayor Jay Moran? Well for at least part of the time while the funeral service was ongoing, he was on radio station WPLR in New Haven, Connecticut, paying tribute to Connecticut Chuckles.

Who is Connecticut Chuckles? Why he’s Connecticut’s version of Punxatawney Phil…a groundhog.

The rodent passed away on October 21, who had apparently honorably served the Lutz Children’s Museum and the town of Manchester for two years before he met his untimely demise at the age of five.

Moran, who as far as anyone knows said nothing about the death of Sgt. Bresciano, had plenty to say at the untimely passing of the groundhog. A Manchester Journal Inquirer story detailing the passing of Sgt. Bresciano included no condolences from Moran, or any other town official for that matter.

Speaking to the death of Connecticut Chuckles however, Moran had plenty to say.

“It’s always sad when we lose a Chuckles,” Moran bemoaned. “We usually know we don’t have a long time with each Chuckles, but it’s always very sad—not just for me but for the community, especially the kids, who have come to adore Chuckles.”

“We will miss this Chuckles but we look forward to another Chuckles in spring,” Moran said wistfully.

So devastated by the death of Chuckles was Moran that while the memorial and prayer services were ongoing at Wickham Park in Manchester, Moran was yukking it up with radio hosts Chaz and AJ on the radio station. Moran’s comedy routine can be found at the 23:52 mark.

Let’s make this perfectly clear and unambiguous. While a veteran police officers’ memorial service was being conducted, this bureaucrat was paying homage to a rodent on a radio station. Let that sink in.

Who was Sgt. Stephen “Brez” Bresciano?

Lt. Ryan Shea of the department said his death had been “tough for our department and countless other departments throughout the state.”

“The men and women of the Manchester Police Department will forever remember Sgt. Bresciano as an officer who dedicated his life to family and service, and consistently passed that dedication on to his fellow officers both within our agency and throughout the region,” Shea said.

The sergeant was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of pancreatic cancer in 2018, at the time with over 20 years of service to the community.

After his diagnosis, his brother and sister officers raised funds to help with costs of treatment through fundraisers, parades, and other efforts.

Bresciano grew up in Manchester and held a master of science degree in organizational management from Eastern Connecticut State University.

“Sgt. Bresciano continued to work despite undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer, and he was never far from the support everyone extended throughout his battle,” Shea said.

“He fought hard, maintaining his dedication to his family and his career despite challenges presented.”

Bresciano was married to his wife Karen for eighteen years, and they have two sons, Joseph (17) and Jonathan (15).

Sgt. Bresciano was clearly a beloved member of the department, and his chief, William Darby spoke of a gathering held at his house just a few short weeks ago, when he realized time was not on his side.

“I told him he would live on through all of the officers that he mentored and trained,” the chief said.

“As we shared some tears, he said that he only wished he could have worked here longer—and what we all would have given for that.”

Manchester’s mayor, however thought honoring a groundhog was a much more important use of his time when people were gathered to pay tribute to someone who clearly had an impact on his department and his community.

Just a few months ago, Moran, along with his fellow cop-hating Democrats sent a letter to town residents in which police officers were portrayed as nothing short of Nazi stormtroopers.

The letter spoke of “elevated heart rates” as squad cars go by people of color. It talked about “a bead of sweat that forms on your lip as an officer walks toward you on the street,” and how “the horror is real, and it is palpable.”

Police-bashing mayor skips funeral of fallen officer to go on radio show and pay tribute to dead groundhog

If ever police officers in Manchester would realize exactly what the “leader” of their community thinks of them, they certainly know now. The letter was bad enough. Snubbing the memorial service of one of your police officers to talk about a freaking groundhog should be enough. 

We would say that Moran is an abject clown, but that is an insult to people who work at the circus. His conduct in ignoring the death of a hometown hero, who had been honored for saving someone’s life using CPR, along with other awards is appalling.

Perhaps Moran knows exactly what Manchester officers think of him, and being the gutless, spineless weasel he is, he knew his attendance wouldn’t be acceptable. That being said, that is no excuse for not addressing Sgt. Bresciano’s death in any shape, matter or form.

If Moran wonders why pictures of him urinating on the side of a school during a public mask giveaway get into the public sphere, he need only look at his insulting and tone-deaf conduct in conducting an interview about a dead groundhog while one of his town’s deceased police officers is being honored.

Moran should do everyone a favor and just resign. He has dishonored his town, his police department, his title, and the Town of Manchester by his conduct. Maybe he can get his own radio show.

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Mayor Jay Moran of Manchester, CT was on a radio station joking about a dead groundhog while memorial service for deceased police officer was underway

The following contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.  Also – an opening note from our National Spokesman, Kyle S. Reyes: 

“The CREST SWAT team is comprised of some of the most incredible and professional men I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting.  Their character and integrity are second to none – and the mayor of Manchester and every single Democrat who stood behind him should be ashamed for their unceasing attacks against law enforcement. 

But of course to feel shame, one would first have to have a conscience and a moral compass – something we’ve come to realize is completely absent from these spineless and inept ‘leaders’ who are an embarrassment to their city and this great country.”

MANCHESTER, CT- An investigation into a deadly police shooting in Manchester, Connecticut on April 2 has resulted in the regional SWAT team being found justified in using deadly force against the 27-year-old man, the Middletown Press is reporting.

The report, released by Tolland State’s Attorney Matthew Gedansky found that the shooting death of Jose “Jay” Soto, 27 of Manchester outside his mother’s home was reasonable and justified under the circumstances.

Soto, who had been released from prison last summer for a first-degree robbery conviction had gone to live in a halfway house, however frequently left the facility. Eventually, the Connecticut Department of Corrections fugitive task force obtained a warrant for Soto for parole violations, the Hartford Courant reported.

DOC officials said Soto had been classified as a parole violator in October of last year when he had not made contact with his parole officer just two months after his release from prison.

He was tracked down to his mother’s home in Manchester, where they spoke to her. While doing so, they heard a man in the basement yell up that he was going to start shooting, a Manchester police spokesman said at the time.

Parole officers got Soto’s mother out of the house, and contacted Manchester police. Soto’s mother allegedly told the parole officers that he did not have a gun, and related that he may have suffered from a mental illness.

Manchester police then activated the CREST (Capitol Region Emergency Services Team) Team, a regional tactical unit comprised of officers from throughout the Hartford region, who responded to the scene. The team is staffed by officers from 11 area police departments, as well as the University of Connecticut.

The Courant said that Soto’s mother attempted to get him out of the house, which was unsuccessful.

CREST made contact with Soto inside the home, and a negotiator convinced him to come outside and surrender, however when he left the home a “confrontation” arose and he was shot and killed by four members of the tactical team.

At the time, the Manchester Police Department released dash camera footage from a cruiser parked somewhat of a distance away from the home, which showed the door “swiftly open” and someone come out of the house before falling out of view.

Four members of the CREST team, identified as Officer Matthew Alexander of the Enfield Police Department, Sgt. Shawn Krom of the Manchester Police Department, Officer David Williams also of Manchester, and Officer Shane Murphy of the Wethersfield Police Department, were the officers who discharged their weapons. It was unknown whose rounds actually struck Soto.

Gedansky’s report said:

“Based upon the facts as set forth in this investigation, Officer Alexander, Sergeant Krom, Officer Williams and Officer Murphy reasonably believed that the use of deadly force was necessary to defend themselves, fellow officers, and civilians in the immediate area from the imminent use of deadly physical force from Mr. Soto,” Gedansky wrote.

“The use of deadly force by Officer Alexander, Sergeant Krom, Officer Williams, and Officer Murphy was entirely appropriate under Connecticut General Statutes.”

While it was determined that Soto was not, in fact, armed with a firearm, that did not make a difference, according to Gedansky’s report.

“The fact that it was ultimately determined that Mr. Soto possessed a cell phone in his hands and did not possess a firearm at the time of the shooting does not end the analysis,” Gedansky wrote.

“(T)he final analysis is: Was it reasonable for the 4 officers to believe Mr. Soto was armed with a firearm and ready to fire at the time they fired their weapons? The analysis is the same for each officer, and therefore, the conclusion is the same for each officer,” the report said.

“While it is true that Mr. Soto did not possess a firearm at the time of the shooting, and his mother had informed law enforcement personnel that he did not possess a firearm, there was an enormous amount of evidence to support the four officers’ reasonable beliefs that Mr. Soto was about to use deadly physical force upon one of the officers, their colleagues, or a civilian in the area.”

Of course, the ACLU, which never met a criminal it didn’t defend condemned the result of Gedansky’s investigation.

In a statement from ACU of Connecticut Executive Director David McGuire, he said:

“Jose Soto should still be alive today. Once again, the state has failed to hold police accountable for the killing of a Latino man. In this report, Jose Soto’s mother stated to state police investigators that she told police at the time that her son was unarmed, and that she begged them not to kill him,” McGuire wrote.

“When someone is suicidal, they need help, not SWAT teams that show up armed to the teeth and then kill them. Ending police violence requires more work from policymakers at every level, including but not limited to changing the use of force standard and instituting a truly independent inspector general.

The report noted that while Soto had agreed to come out of the house peacefully, and CREST members had that communicated to them, he came out, according to multiple team members “aggressively” and did not have his hands over his head as he had been instructed.

“Instead, Mr. Soto brought his hands from his sides, ‘punching’ his hands together in a firing position, while holding a black object, as if he was shooting a handgun at the police on scene,” Gedansky wrote.

The version of events told by police officers was backed up by three paramedics who were present on scene. They said that Soto had exited the home in what they described as an “aggressive manner” and also was holding something and “in a shooting position, pointed at the police officers. All three indicated that they thought Mr. Soto was firing a handgun at the officers.”

 

After being shot, Soto fell onto the porch, instructed to show his hands, but did not. A police K9 was used to check on Soto “to see if he was still a threat,” Soto was brought to the rear of one of the CREST vehicles, where he was treated by paramedics. He was transported to Hartford Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds. An autopsy showed he had been shot four times.

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So, an investigation…a REAL investigation has shown that police were justified in using deadly physical force on Mr. Soto. Was this tragic in that he was found to have been unarmed?

Of course. However, were the four CREST officers justified under deadly physical force statutes, court cases, department policies and their training justified in using deadly physical force? The answer is yes.

Back in June, Law Enforcement Today reported on the woke, Manchester Democratic Party issuing a press release in which they took their CALEA and Connecticut accredited police department and threw it under the bus. Why? Because that is what Democrats do. Wait for an investigation? Hell no! We’re Democrats and we love to pander.

What was the topic of their press release? Well, it started out speaking ostensibly about the George Floyd incident in Minneapolis. However, it quickly digressed and spoke to the incident involving Jose Soto. Here is what they said:

Manchester is not, and has not been, immune to violent and fatal encounters between law enforcement and residents of color. An officer-involved shooting here, on April 2, 2020 resulted in the death of our fellow resident, Jose Soto.

This tragic loss of life occurred on a cold and rainy evening in the early days of the COVID-19 shutdown, amid the anxiety of this slow-moving, ongoing crisis.

And against this backdrop of so much uncertainty, we recognize that for many, the terror associated with police interaction is a certainty. Whether in manifests as an elevated heart rate when a squad car passes by, or a bead of sweat that forms on your lip as an officer walks toward you on the street, the horror is real, and it is palpable.

Police-bashing mayor skips funeral of fallen officer to go on radio show and pay tribute to dead groundhog

We’d also like to remind you that one of the Democrats who signed the letter is Manchester Mayor Jay Moran. The letter sent by Moran and Manchester Democrats seems to indicate the belief that the Manchester Police Department and its hard-working officers do not support (or respect) the minority community in that town.

So, imagine our surprise and dismay when back in May, the town was holding a mask handout at the Bennett Academy, which is in a primarily minority and subsidized housing area of Manchester.

Mayor Moran, showing total respect for the minority community, and at an event where there were also children attending, allegedly couldn’t make it to the restroom and decided to urinate on the side of the school building.

Police-bashing mayor skips funeral of fallen officer to go on radio show and pay tribute to dead groundhog

Once Law Enforcement Today went public with Moran’s apparent egregious disrespect for Manchester residents and the Bennett Academy community, he claimed that he was “looking at his cellphone.” Look at the picture…have you ever looked at your cellphone like THAT? 

After the photo went public, multiple sources told us that the chief of police was pressured to report to local media outlets that there was “no evidence of wrongdoing” by Moran. We have also been told that Moran and the Manchester Democrats were seething about the photo being leaked, and there would “be hell to pay” for that occurring.

So, considering the investigation by the Tolland State’s Attorneys Office, when exactly will Manchester Democrats be issuing an apology to their police department, for insinuating that somehow the shooting of Mr. Soto was racially motivated?

When are they going to apologize for saying pretty clearly that Manchester residents of color should walk in fear of their nationally accredited police department? That the “horror is real” when Manchester residents have a police officer approaching on the street? When will Moran apologize for urinating on a school?

That’s okay, we won’t hold our breath.  Except, perhaps, when near the mayor, should we happen to see him standing against a building “checking his cell phone”.

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