Within minutes of taking to Capitol Avenue Monday, halting midday traffic, seven protesters were taken into custody amid chants calling for justice for Jayson Negron, the 15-year-old from Bridgeport fatally shot by an officer in May.
The arrests come as officials say the investigation into the teen’s death remains ongoing. Those arrested face charges of disorderly conduct, police officials said. None of the arrested protesters live in Hartford.
Family and activists gathered outside the state Supreme Court Building across from the Capitol, demanding that Bridgeport police officer James Boulay be charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Jayson just over six months ago.
“We are here because we think that James Boulay murdered Jayson and there’s probable cause to believe that happened. And that’s what the state’s attorney needs to press charges,” said Chris Desir, a Yale Law School student and member of People Against Police Violence.
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting May 9 on a one-way street in Bridgeport, state police took over the investigation into Jayson’s death. Chief State’s Attorney Kevin Kane assigned Waterbury State’s Attorney Maureen Platt to probe the deadly use of force.
Hundreds gathered the next night for a vigil that demanded accountability for the officer’s actions.
Activists were demanding Monday that Platt release her findings, and charge Boulay, identified by city police as the shooter, with murder. Typically, use of force investigations take months or even more than a year to complete.
“We know what happened to Jayson was a crime. We know that they are doing everything in their power to make Jayson look like he was in the wrong … we are tired of the lies,” said Jazmarie Melendez, Jayson’s sister.
On May 9, state police said Jayson was believed to have been driving a stolen car that Bridgeport officers attempted to stop on Fairfield Avenue. Once the car stopped, officers approached and tried to take Jayson into custody, state police said. As that happened, city police said, Jayson put the car in reverse and sped back, hitting one of the officers.
Boulay reportedly shot his gun and hit both Negron and a passenger, Julian Fyffe, 21, state police said. Jayson was pronounced dead at the scene. Fyffe was hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the shoulder, officials said.
A video surfaced on social media later that week purporting to show the moments after Jayson was shot.
The minutelong video shows Jayson lying handcuffed on the ground next to the open driver’s side door of a car. And at one point, out of view of the camera, the position of his head changes — he goes from facing the right to the left.
One officer bends down to touch his back and then stands near him. Sirens and people yelling can be heard in the background. The clip ends with an officer bending down to touch the teen again.
In a statement released after Monday’s protest, Platt said there is no way to provide an exact timeline for when her investigation will be complete.
“[The state police] investigation is still being completed,” Platt said. “I have been in regular contact with them since I was assigned the case, so I know that they have conducted an extensive investigation. I anticipate that their report will be finished this week. I expect to meet with them on next Monday to discuss the case. Depending on my review of their investigation and our discussions on Monday, I may or may not request additional work be done on this matter.”
Platt added that she intends to meet with Jayson’s family before the report is released.
Officials said that Boulay remains on administrative leave as the investigation progresses.
Av Harris, a spokesman for the city of Bridgeport, said: “We all have to wait for the conclusion of that investigation and Mayor Ganim, the city of Bridgeport and the police department, want justice for Jayson. We want to know what happened, why it happened and if anything was improper absolutely he should be held accountable.”
Courant staff writer Rebecca Lurye contributed to this story.