The cousin of a 15-year-old fatally shot by a Bridgeport, Connecticut, police officer last week is challenging authorities’ claims that Jayson Negron struck an officer while driving a stolen car.
A bystander’s video has surfaced that allegedly shows the moments after the officer shot Negron in the stomach on May 9. Negron’s cousin, Giovanni Rivera, has said the footage supports his claims that police lied to the family about the altercation.
The Connecticut State Police, which is investigating the case, said last week that the officer opened fire after “the operator of the stolen vehicle accelerated in reverse and struck at least one Bridgeport Police Officer.”
The cop who fired his weapon has been identified as James Boulay, 30. It’s unclear how many rounds he fired. He has been placed on leave while authorities review the case.
A 21-year-old passenger in the car with Negron was shot in the shoulder and is expected to fully recover. Negron and the passenger were unarmed, The Connecticut Post reported.
Before the shooting, Negron refused orders to stop the car and hit two other vehicles while driving the wrong way during a brief chase, the state police statement said.
In a series of tweets on Monday, Rivera expressed doubts about officials’ version of events. He said that the Bridgeport police “can’t even prove that the car was stolen” and denied that Negron hit an officer with it.
“That was a lie and a cover up to try and justify his murder,” Rivera tweeted.
The one-minute witness video that Rivera shared May 12 on social media purportedly shows Negron lying face down in the street with his hands cuffed behind his back after the shooting. Beside him is a dark-colored SUV with the driver’s door ajar. An officer leans over him and touches his back.
The footage is shaky and doesn’t remain fixed on Negron, but it appears to show his head, hands and feet moving.
Before the footage surfaced, police had incorrectly told Negron’s relatives that he died on the scene from a gunshot to the head.
“If that crucial part of the story is a lie, everything else is up for question,” Rivera told The Hartford Courant. He did not respond to HuffPost’s inquiries.
Authorities have also been criticized for leaving Negron’s body in the street for hours without covering it up. Bridgeport Police Chief Armando Perez said shields were erected around the body, according to the Post.
The footage apparently showing Negron clinging to life led the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut to criticize the officers’ conduct.
“The callous disregard that Bridgeport police officers showed for Jayson Negron during his last moments of life is unacceptable,” said David McGuire, executive director of the state ACLU, in a statement. “Their behavior was outside the realms of human decency and democracy.”
The Bridgeport Police Department referred all inquiries to the state police, which did not respond to HuffPost’s inquiries.