Courant Staff Writer Jenna Carlesso reports that the controversial Sept. 1 incident between Hartford police officers and state Treasurer Denise Nappier began with a 911 emergency call for an "unspecified incident" - which drew police to a North End apartment complex where they found Nappier in her official state car, according to the vice president of the Hartford Police Union.
Nappier has said that she walked more than three miles to her home at night from the Barbour Street complex after she was detained by police in the apartments' parking lot about 8:30 p.m., and then charged with motor vehicle violations while police had her state car towed and impounded.
Carlesso reports that Hartford Police Union Vice President Nazario Figueroa told her in an interview Friday that the three officers at the scene offered Nappier a ride to her Westerly Terrace home in the city's West End from the Barbour Garden apartments, but she declined and left on foot.
The statement by Figueroa differs from Nappier's version of events. It also appears to be at odds with a statement issued Wednesday by Hartford State's Attorney Gail Hardy, who had said in a press release: "Treasurer Nappier was released at the scene and left to walk home when the vehicle was ordered towed by the police officer."
The police gave Nappier a summons charging her with operating an unregistered vehicle, having no insurance and misuse of registration plates. But Hardy said the charges were unjust, adding that she will seek to have them dropped.
Here is Carlesso's report;
A 911 emergency call for an "unspecified incident" prompted Hartford police Officer Jill Kidik and two other officers to respond to the area of 385 Barbour St. on Sept. 1, Hartford Police Union Vice President Nazario Figueroa said Friday.
While in that area, Kidik took notice of a black Ford Crown Victoria that had pulled into a housing complex parking lot. She ran the license plate and "it came back that no registration was found, so she effected a motor vehicle stop," Figueroa said.
He also said Kidik -- who works in the patrol division and is assigned to District 16, covering a stretch of the North End from Capen Street to Tower Avenue and Main Street up to Vine Street -- had seen that exact car before in that area, but didn't know who was driving it.
"Police officers who work in the same area all the time, they're familiar with the goings-on," Figueroa said. "They know what sorts of things belong and if something is out of place through observations and knowing the neighborhood. That car just stuck out as she was entering the complex."
The other officers at the scene that night reported that Kidik has acted "professionally at all times," he said. "She acted like a Hartford police officer should act," Figueroa said.
Each officer at the scene offered State Treasurer Denise Nappier a ride home once she was informed that she could not drive in the vehicle, Figueroa said, but Nappier refused a ride. The officers also asked if they could call someone for her -- which is a department policy -- but she declined, he said.
Nappier "wasn't happy" and "felt she was being treated unfairly," he said.
Figueroa said the area was known as a "hot spot" because street fights, gang violence and drug trade have occurred there.
He said the police department should create a policy for dealing with politicians in situations like this. He suggested putting in a place a mandate that a supervisor respond to the scene.
"Sometimes people are not satisfied with speaking to a patrolman," Figueroa said.
It's unfair, he said, that Kidik was reassigned to the booking division as the police department conducts an investigation into the incident.
"She hasn't been found guilty of doing anything wrong yet," he said.
In the meantime, Figueroa said, the union is conducting its own review.
Nappier has been unavailable for comment since first giving her version of events in a Courant interview Wednesday evening.
Meanwhile, Courant Staff Writer Steven Goode reports:
The Hartford Police Department has been required to compile biannual reports of citizen complaints since June of 2004 by federal Judge Ellen Bree Burns, in order to comply with provisions of the Cintron vs. Vaughn case.
According to the reports, Hartford Patrol Officer Jill Kidik has had five citizen complaints filed against her since Jan. 2010.
On July 16, 2010 a complaint for poor service was filed against Kidik and Patrol Officer Valentine Olabisi, alleging a civil rights violation for illegal arrest, two charges of verbal abuse and discourteous attitude and refusal to give name and arrest code. Kidik was exonerated of the civil rights violation and the department did not sustain the other charges against her.
From January to June 30 of 2011, Kidik was named in four more citizen complaints, placing her with two other officers as receiving the highest number of complaints. There were 68 total complaints during that time period.
On Feb 17, a citizen complaint charged her with discourteous attitude. The complaint was withdrawn on Feb. 23.
On Feb 18, a citizen complaint charged her with discourteous attitude. On May 18 the department ruled that the charge was not sustainedOn June 2 and June 16 charges of discourteous attitude were lodged against Kidik. The determination of those charges are still pending.