play

Use of force by police can be controversial, so the Norwich Police Department released the body camera footage of the police response to a fight a Jenkins Park during a basketball tournament that included an arrest, Chief Patrick Daley said.

The Norwich Police held a press conference Monday showing some of the body camera and dashboard camera footage of the department’s response to a fight at Jenkins Park on June 29. What was shown wasn’t the entirety of the footage, but what was shown “concerns the altercation and arrest of the accused,” Daley said.

“Tensions are high, and officers do interact with the crowd, but there’s no more spray deployed, no more force used,” he said of the unshown footage.

Parts of the video were redacted by the state’s request and Officer Matthew Goddu’s camera had fallen off so that video was not shown.

What police said led to the arrest of Jaylen Jarmon

Jaylen Jarmon, 23, was arrested and charged with breach of peace, assault on a police officer, second-degree assault, and interfering with an officer. Jarmon posted the $250,000 bond and was released, according to a press release from the Norwich Police Department.

When officers arrived at Jenkins Park, they were told about a fight breaking out concerning someone’s ex-boyfriend but were unaware of the basketball tournament with over 200 attendees until arriving, Daley said.

More: Norwich Police breaks up fight at park, acknowledges public concern about use of force

The initial press release stated Jarmon allegedly punched someone, but the Norwich Police Department now says he threw his water bottle at an individual, after reviewing the video footage.

“We’re still looking into the why for that altercation,” Daley said.

Jarmon allegedly struck someone from an earlier altercation with the water bottle and those two had an altercation. Officer Gary Gross tries to arrest Jarmon while Goddu helps the victim. Goddu sees Gross being restrained by his neck and goes to help him, Daley said.

The video recording didn’t show how Gross was put into a neck restraint, Daley said.

Why police say they use pepper spray at Jenkins Park

As for the use of pepper spray, officers were not spraying into the crowd, but targeting people who were interjecting themselves into the situation, according to the chief. Overspray due to distance can happen and get in the eyes of people who weren’t the target, he said.

Three Norwich officers were “acutely affected” by the pepper spray, Daley said.

While everything is still under investigation, the size of the crowd and distance from mutual aid proved a challenge, but the officers were able to handle a tense crowd. The department and the state attorney’s office are looking at the footage to see if anything could have been done differently or better, Dailey said.

The two Norwich Police personnel injured were Officer Clark and Officer Gross, who was in the neck restraint. Clark is back on active duty, and Gross is still recovering at home, Daley said.

A group of moms also helped clear the park and diffuse the situation, Daley said.

Jarmon’s family reacts

Jarmon’s mother and grandmother attended the press conference to view the video footage. Tanikka Davis, Jarmon’s mother, was unsatisfied with what was shown and how the situation was handled, between how force was used and that her son was the only person arrested as of midday Monday, July 8.

Davis said her son was blinded by mace when he was in the middle of an altercation, so he was unaware he was approached by officers. Jarmon was afraid he was jumped by the person who he was in an altercation with. He didn’t realize they were officers until he heard the word taser, she said.

“He never knew it was the police,” she said. “They never identified themselves.”

Davis also said her son wasn’t tased, though you can hear the taser deployed. The tasing was a drive tasing, which has less of an impact than when taser probes are deployed. The only noticeable reaction from Jarmon was he released Gross from the hold, Daley said after Davis left.