Days after a Connecticut police officer fatally shot a teenager, the family of the victim spoke with The Root about the teen’s death, an alleged cover-up and a video from the scene of the incident.
Jayson Negron, 15, was killed Tuesday when, law-enforcement officials say, Bridgeport Police Officer James Boulay fatally wounded Jayson after a brief car chase, according to the Hartford Courant. The police allege that Jayson—who was driving the vehicle—backed into an officer, forcing Boulay to shoot Jayson in the head and wound the passenger, Julian Fyffe, 22, in the shoulder.
On Friday, Giovanni Rivera posted a video to Twitter of the incident. The footage doesn’t capture the fatal shooting but shows Jayson lying on the ground, handcuffed, while officers mill about.
Rivera spoke with The Root Monday about the incident and the controversy surrounding the case.
“The family is crushed,” said Rivera, 24. “There are so many unanswered questions, so many lies out there. We just want truth and justice.”
Rivera said that he posted the video after it was forwarded to Jayson’s father—Rivera’s cousin—by a family friend who was at the scene. The person who originally filmed the incident gave Rivera permission to post it, on the condition of anonymity. Rivera added that he only shared the video after the police accounts of the incident didn’t add up.
“The Bridgeport police officers came to the house and told us that Jayson was shot in the head and died on the scene, but in the video, you can see he was still breathing,” Ruvera said.
In the footage, Jayson moves his head about 42 seconds into the clip and appears to still be alive.
“They didn’t treat his wounds. They didn’t find a gun on the scene,” Rivera stated. “Everything they said about Jayson has been a lie. Multiple eyewitnesses said the police had the car pinned, and none of the officers were in danger. They just opened fire.”
These sentiments echo the statements of Michael Stratton, the attorney for the family, who tweeted: “Julian was shot twice after jayson was shot. 3 bullets. No officer was ever in danger. Bridgeport hired [a]n Iraqi war vet with bad ptsd. Rookie. The guy flipped out and laid 3 bullets into jayson and Julian when no one was at risk.”
Stratton claims that the police have produced no evidence to show that the car was stolen. Rivera says that the pair was headed to the studio to work on music, which was Jayson’s hobby.
Police have confiscated video footage from a Walgreens store near the location of the incident but have not released it to the public. Stratton said on Twitter that his investigation team revealed to him that the store’s employees “shouldn’t talk to anyone but police.”
The police have not commented on why medical treatment took so long, but an autopsy revealed that Jayson died from gunshot wounds to the chest, The Guardian reports. Authorities would only say that the teenager lay handcuffed on the scene for several hours “for evidence-gathering purposes.”
The American Civil Liberties Union issued a statement:
The callous disregard that Bridgeport police officers showed for Jayson Negron during his last moments of life is unacceptable. Their behavior was outside the realms of human decency and democracy. The City of Bridgeport must immediately act to create true accountability, transparency, and respect for human life in the Bridgeport Police Department.
As a state, Connecticut must not make the mistake of believing that police excessive force and police accountability are simply Bridgeport problems, or pretend that racial disparities in policing do not exist.
“Jayson was such a beautiful kid,” says Riviera. “He was an athlete, he had musical talent. He had the potential to be anything he wanted. It’s sad that we’ll never know that.”