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Drunken Driver: "I Wish It Was Me That Died"


A New Britain woman sentenced to four years in prison for the drunken driving crash that killed a paramedic in West Hartford last year said she wishes the tables had been turned.

"I wish it was me that died instead of him," Karen Torres, 33, said in court Thursday afternoon of crash victim Donovan Alden. "I know he was a good person. He was a paramedic who cared for people and saved lives."

Torres, who police say was speeding with a blood alcohol content twice the legal limit, will serve four years behind bars and five years of probation in connection with Alden's death.

She was seriously hurt in the March 2014 crash and appeared in court Thursday in a wheelchair.

Those who spoke on her behalf said Torres is a woman of character.

"Karen has always been driven to honor and acknowledge the dignity of the people that she interacts with," said Joan Hurley, who taught Torres sixth grade in 1992.

Her attorney, too, called Torres "kind and compassionate" and said her sentence was reduced because "there was such a positive report about her."

But colleagues of 32-year-old Alden, who had been an EMT for years and had just completed 2,000 hours of training to become a paramedic, had a hard time sympathizing for the woman responsible for Alden's death.

"I call it an incident because it wasn't an accident. It was poor choices made," said Chris Chaplin.

Prosecutor Donna Membrino went so far as to call it intentional.

"It was intentional for her to drive with more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in her blood," she said.

Another victim, a driver who couldn't stop after the initial impact and struck Alden's car from behind, said he's still living with the consequences of the crash.

"I have experienced memory loss and difficulty concentrating and attending to tasks," Zeeshan Rashid said in court Thursday.

Online court records show Torres pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter, and second-degree assault with a motor vehicle.

Torres' attorney, Bill Gerace, said his client will be imprisoned in Niantic. Family and friends of Torres declined to comment on the case Thursday.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com/Family Photo

School Bus Stopped on Shoulder of I-84 in West Hartford


A school bus is stopped on the shoulder of Interstate 84 east in West Hartford and state police said it is a medical call.

No additional information is available.

Photo Credit: Connecticut Department of Transportation

Couple Charged in Hookah Lounge Sword Stabbing


West Hartford police have charged a husband and wife accused of stabbing each other with a sword during a domestic incident at the West Hartford hookah bar they own.

Police said George Ayoub, 47, called 911 around 3:15 a.m. on April 22 to report that his wife, 24-year-old Najeh Frehi, had stabbed him at 1001 Arabian Nights Hookah Lounge at 134 Park Road.

Ayoub was charged with assault in the first-degree of an elderly, blind, disabled, intellectually disabled or pregnant person and Frihi was charged with first-degree assault.

When police responded to the hookah lounge, it was closed , the door was locked and Ayoub tried to open the door to allow police in, but he couldn't reach it because of his wounds. To get to hom, police had to break the glass.

He was taken to St. Francis Hospital to be treated for stab wounds to his abdomen.

Frihi was also injured and was treated for serious injuries to her shoulder and hands, police said.

Responding officers also found a large sword at the scene.

Ayoub is being held on $1 million bond and Frihi is being held on $100,000. Both are due in court this morning.

Photo Credit: West Hartford Police

Woman Charged in Murder of Torrington Teen


A Torrington woman has been charged with murder, accused of stabbing a 19-year-old woman to death last month.

Heather Birden, 20, has been charged with the murder of Holly Aeschlimann, 19, of Torrington, and is being held on $1 million bond, police said on Friday.

Police started investigating the case when they received a disturbance call at 1:12 a.m. on Friday, April 17 in the area of Prospect and Hungerford streets. When they arrived at the scene, they learned from a passerby that Aeschlimann had been injured and taken to Charlotte Hungerford Hospital.

She'd been stabbed several times and later died from her injuries, police said.

The office of the chief medical examiner in Farmington conducted an autopsy, which revealed that she died of sharp force injury of head, neck, torso and extremities.

Multiple people who spoke with NBC Connecticut indicated that there was bad blood between the victim and the suspect and police said there's been an ongoing history between them.

Friends told NBC Connecticut that Aeschlimann was riding her bike in the area when she was attacked.

Police are asking anyone with information about the case to call Torrington Police or Sgt. Baldis of the Detective Division at 860-489-2031.

Photo Credit: Brigitte Ruthman/Republican-American and NBC Connecticut
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Man Critical After Accidental Shooting: Police


A 24-year-old man is in critical condition after what police are calling an accidental shooting in New Britain on Thursday night.

Police said they received a 911 call at 10:31 p.m. reporting a man had been shot within the home at 78 Bond Street and learned that it happened as two friends were handling a loaded gun.

Officers provided aid until medics arrived and brought the victim to a Hartford area trauma hospital, where he is reported to be in critical condition.

Jordan Reberio, 19, of Bond Street in New Britain has charged with criminal possession of a firearm, unlawful discharge of a firearm and first-degree assault in connection with the shooting.

The New Britain Police Department and the New Britain State’s Attorney’s Office are investigating and anyone with information about the shooting should call New Britain Detective Paul O’Connor 860-826-3135.


Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Last Day to Apply for AT&T “Cramming” Refunds


If you are or were an AT&T wireless customer, you might have money coming back to you because of a $105 million settlement and the deadline to file a claim is today, May 1.

In October, the Federal Trade Commission said AT&T Mobility LLC, a subsidiary of the telecom giant, agreed to the settlement after the government accused the company of unlawfully billing customers for hundreds of millions of dollars in bogus unauthorized third-party charges - a practice known as cramming.

The settlement called for FTC to receive $80 million for consumer refunds.

So far, 4.9 million people have applied nationwide for refunds, according to a statement from U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal.

“These unlawful charges were forced on consumers without their consent or even knowledge, and refunds must be issued. Unauthorized and unscrupulous third-charges—hidden in bills through vague and deceptive language—robbed consumers and they deserve their money back. The procedure to apply is simple and quick, and consumers should apply immediately to ensure they receive what they are rightfully owed,” Blumenthal said in a statement.

To apply for a refund, AT&T customers should go to the Federal Trade Commission Website. If you have questions or need a paper claim, call 1-877-819-9692.

AT&T will be sending notices to customers who are eligible for refunds.

In December, the FCC, FTC and all 50 states also reached a similar settlement with T-Mobile for $90 million. The deadline to claim refunds in that case is June 30. Learn more about the T-Mobile refunds on the FTC’s Web site or by calling 1 (855) 382-6403.


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Baltimore Cops Charged: What Depraved Heart Murder Is


The most serious charge against one of the Baltimore officers accused in the death of Freddie Gray is one many Americans likely have not heard of: depraved heart murder.

The Legal Information Institute, a research group housed at Cornell University Law School, defines the charge this way: "Killing someone in a way that demonstrates a callous disregard for the value of human life. For example, if a person intentionally fires a gun into a crowded room, and someone dies, the person could be convicted of depraved heart murder."

Officer Caesar Goodson, Jr., who drove the police van that brought Gray to a police station, is charged with second-degree depraved heart murder.

He is accused of failing to get medical help for Gray and failing to secure him with a seat belt inside the van. At one point, he drove to help with another arrest instead of providing medical help to Gray, Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said.

"Despite Mr. Gray’s obvious and recognized need for medical assistance, Officer Goodson in a grossly negligent manner chose to respond to the 1600 block of West North Avenue with Mr. Gray still unsecured by a seat belt in the wagon without rendering to or summonsing medical assistant for Mr. Gray," Mosby said.

Five other officers — Officer William Porter, Lt. Brian Rice, Officer Edward Nero, Garrett Miller and Sgt. Alicia White — also face charges. Those range from involuntary manslaughter to misconduct in office and false imprisonment.

A lawyer for some of the officers accused Mosby of a rush to judgment.

"The officers did nothing wrong," the lawyer, Michael Davey, said Friday. "These injuries did not occur as a result of any action or inaction on the part of these officers."

Photo Credit: AP

Racially Charged Fliers Show Up in East Haven


For the second time in a week, residents in Connecticut have found racially charged leaflets on their lawns, which are showing up amid riots in Baltimore over the police-custody death of Freddie Gray and protests around the nation in response to the case.

Residents of East Haven are finding fliers that read “#WHITE LIVES MATTER,” inside plastic bags, weighted down by stones. This comes days after Milford residents found similar leaflets.
There is no indication of who was responsible for the latest round of fliers.

“I guess it’s just somebody trying to put their thoughts to what’s going on as well. Hopefully nothing bad comes from it,” East Haven resident Mike Meisner said.

Freddie Gray died of a mysterious spinal injury he suffered while in police custody. On Friday morning, officials in Maryland said six Baltimore police officers involved in the arrest Gray have been charged, including one of them with murder.

Several residents who have lived in East Haven for decades said they’ve never had racial problems, so they’re not sure why anyone would drop the leaflets in their community.

“It’s calm and quiet here. They want to start something over here now. It’s terrible. I don’t know,” longtime resident Bill Dernago said.

NBC Connecticut reached out to East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr. for a response to the fliers, but a representative said he had no comment.

NBC Connecticut has not received a response to requests for comment from East Haven Police.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Suspect in Newington Best Buy Robbery Arrested


Newington police have arrested a man suspected of stealing cell phones from the Best Buy in Newington last weekend.

Police arrested Frank Warner, 40, of Winsted, on Thursday and said they identified him after posting surveillance photos on Facebook and receiving tips on his identity.

Warner is accused of stealing an iPhone 6 Plus and a Samsung Galaxy S6 from a display.

He was held on a $75,000 bond and arraigned on April 4 for third-degree robbery, third-degree larceny, third-degree assault, reckless driving, disobeying the signal of an officer and failure to display registration plate.

Photo Credit: Newington Police

Clerk Injured in New London Armed Robbery


The clerk of a New London convenience store was assaulted after refusing to hand over money during an armed robbery on Thursday night, according to police.

Two men, wearing masks, robbed the Orient Express convenience store, at 92 Truman Street, at 7:15 p.m., according to police, and one of the two men had a gun.

Police said one of the masked robbers assaulted the clerk until she turned over the money, then the robbers fled with a large sum of cash, going north on Truman Street.

Police used a K9 to try and track the robbers, but lost the scent in the area of Hope and Hempstead streets.

Police said the store clerk was treated at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital and her injuries are not life-threatening.

Police are looking for two males, 25 t- 30 years old, who were wearing dark hooded clothing and a mask.

They might have left the area in a black or dark vehicle.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

New London Student Brought Pellet Gun to School: Cops


A 17-year-old New London High School student has been arrested after bringing a pellet gun to school, prompting a lockdown on Friday afternoon, according to police.

It was the second scare at a New London school in a week. On Wednesday, an 11-year-old brought a gun to Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School on Wednesday and firing a shot, according to police.

Police said they received a 911 call at 11:10 a.m. reporting a student having a firearm within the school facility and school administrators placed the school into a lockdown.

A school resource officer obtained information about what happened, as well as a description of the student, and police, along with school security and administrative staff members, searched the school and found a student with what appeared to be a black and pink-colored pistol outside the building near an athletic field.

Police were able to determine it was a toy that can fire plastic pellets.

The 17-year-old boy was detained and later arrested on a second-degree breach of peace charge as well as carrying a dangerous weapon.  He was released to a parent and issued a summons to appear in juvenile court.

This came the day after the 11-year-old Bennie Dover student was suspended, arrested and charged with possession of a weapon on school grounds, carrying a pistol without a permit, unlawful discharge of a firearm and reckless endangerment.

Police said there was no intentional threat to students or staff in that case and called it an isolated incident.

Betting on an Underdog? Try These 5 Derby Hopefuls


Hoping to unearth a Kentucky Derby winner at a price?

We got your long shots right here.

We're talking the next Giacomo, who won at 50-1 and returned $102.60 for a $2 win bet 10 years ago. We're talking Mine That Bird, who won at the same odds in 2009 and paid $103.20. We're even talking Animal Kingdom in 2011, who won at 20-1 ($43.90), and I'll Have Another, who won the next year at 15-1 ($32.60).

Favorites Orb and California Chrome came through the past two years, and 5-2 top choice American Pharoah could make it three in a row Saturday.

The 20-horse field is said to be one of the toughest in years, but there are five horses at 50-1 odds, six at 30-1 and two at 20-1 — 65 percent of the field.

Here goes nothing — or maybe something big:

1. Frosted, 15-1: If trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is right, he's got his horse pitch perfect at the right time. So many issues all seemed to clear up when this gray colt won the Wood Memorial by two lengths under his new rider Joel Rosario — who won the 2013 Derby with Orb. Good post (No. 14), good trainer, good rider and very wealthy owners, Godolphin Racing. Not your ultimate long shot, but double-digit odds are always tempting.

2. Far Right, 30-1: We were loving El Kabeir in this spot, but tenderness near his left front foot discovered Friday morning knocks him out of consideration. So we're turning to Far Right, winner of the Smarty Jones and Southwest and a distant second to American Pharoah in the Arkansas Derby. The upside is three-time Derby winner Mike Smith has the mount. He's among the most tenacious riders in the business, and knows his way around Churchill Downs, even from post No. 19. Smith's Derby win came aboard Giacomo in '05 and he'll be riding in his 21st Run for the Roses. Trainer Ron Moquett is a Derby rookie but has seemed even-keeled all week.

3. Itsaknockout, 30-1: Sold on the name. Plus, don't you have to go with at least one of trainer Todd Pletcher's horses? His top horse is 8-1 with a lousy post, the other is 12-1 with only three previous starts ... so here we are. Plus, who can resist the cross-promotion with the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight? Luis Saez aboard? Not great, but he's 3-for-4 with the bay colt if you include the victory in the Fountain of Youth after first-place finisher Upstart was DQ'd to second for interference in the stretch. He was a distant fourth in the Florida Derby, but that's why he's a long shot.

4. Mr. Z, 50-1: Why would Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas even enter this colt, who has only a maiden win to his credit? Well, as rival trainer Nick Zito likes to say, "If you don't run, you can't even lose." And with that logic, Lukas' long shot becomes intriguing. The colt seems to be his own worst enemy — he lugged outside in a race, veered out in another, and what may have been a last-gasp measure, has been fitted with blinkers to keep focused. While he has lost 11 in a row, he's finished in the top three in seven graded stake races, most recently third in the Arkansas Derby. And, two of Lukas' four Derby wins came with long shots — Charismatic (31-1) in 1999 and Thunder Gulch (24-1) in 1995.

5. Firing Line, 12-1: Caught! Technically not a true long shot — but we're hoping his odds increase once betting begins. If not, oh well. Cashing in at current odds won't be hard to take. The colt was beaten twice by a nose by Dortmund, then won the Sunland Derby by 14 1/4 lengths. Jockey Gary Stevens is looking for his fourth Derby win, and first since 1997 with Silver Charm.

Photo Credit: AP

Men Rob Off-Track Betting Facility in Milford


Police are searching for two men who robbed an off-track betting facility in Milford as it closed for the day Thursday.

According to police, two men walked into Winners Milford at 89 Roses Mill Road around 5:50 p.m. Thursday and walked into the bathroom. After the business closed, they left the bathroom holding handguns and stole an undisclosed amount of money from the facility.

Police said one man was wearing a black coat and gray pants. The other was clad in a gray hooded sweatshirt, white shirt and light-colored pants. Both were wearing black hats and black shoes.

Police are asking anyone with information to call Det. Michael Moreno at 203-783-4729 or email mmoreno@ci.milford.ct.us. You can also submit an anonymous tip online.

Photo Credit: Milford Police Department

Bomb Threat Found Thursday at Schaghticoke Middle School


Students at a New Milford middle school were told not to bring backpacks to school on Friday after a bomb threat was found on Thursday that referenced today, May 1.

The threat was found at Schaghticoke Middle School that referenced May 1, according to the superintendent’s office.

Police were contacted, authorities checked the school and students were asked not to bring backpacks on Friday.

Should school officials determine that a student is responsible for the threat, he or she will be disciplined and could be expelled.

"A Bit Experimental": 1st-Time Derby Trainer Faces Extra Challenges


One wildcard contender in Saturday's Kentucky Derby didn't have an easy journey to Churchill Downs. Mubtaahij's entry into the race touched off a 24-hour trek from Dubai to the U.S., with plenty of hurdles along the way for him and his trainer, Michael de Kock.

De Kock, one of South Africa's premier trainers, has won races on four continents, but Saturday will be the first time he'll have a horse race at Churchill Downs. If that weren't challenge enough, de Kock cannot give Mubtaahij his regular food, and it's the first time the colt is racing in the U.S.

“I don’t think there’s a massive amount of expectation,” de Kock, 51, told NBC of his 3-year-old thoroughbred, whose name means "elated" in Arabic.

Mubtaahij is considered a wildcard, but his trainer and experts say he deserves to be running in the field headed by champion American Pharoah and unbeaten Dortmund, along with strong contenders like Frosted, Carpe Diem, Materiality, International Star and Firing Line.

"This is definitely one of the toughest Kentucky Derbys that we’ve seen in quite some time, but Mubtaahij still deserves to be in the field," NBC Sports' racing analyst Randy Moss said. "The way he won the UAE Derby, the ease with which he won it, the acceleration that he showed made it pretty much a no-brainer that at least they ship him over and give him a try. I don’t think it’s an impossible task at all."

But running in the Derby's crowded field of 20 horses will be a new experience for Mubtaahij. The colt has only ever run in much smaller fields, so it's anyone's guess how he'll fare in Louisville, de Kock said.

“I don’t know what he’s going to do. I can’t even venture a prediction," de Kock said. "But he does have a very sound mind, and I’m relying on that."

Long Voyages With New Food

Mubtaahij, owned by the Dubai emir's cousin Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa bin Saeed Al Maktoum, arrived at Churchill Downs Monday night after an epic trans-Atlantic journey that began April 15. After a 24-hour trip from the United Arab Emirates to Amsterdam to Chicago, the horse spent the last few weeks quarantined and training for a few days at Arlington Park in Chicago.

"It's just a long time on the road," de Kock said. “He’s coming out of 37 degrees Celsius [about 98 degrees Fahrenheit] in Dubai into Chicago, where it was one or 2 degrees overnight."

And now that the colt is in Louisville, he has to adjust to a new diet; he can't eat his regular feed in the U.S., because it's not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). De Kock says the change in what he's been eating since he arrived stateside hasn't affected his mood or appetite, but there's no way to tell now how it may affect his run Saturday at the Derby.

Mubtaahij will also be the first horse in a decade to compete in the race without Lasix, the blood-thinning drug that all other Derby thoroughbreds are given to protect against exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage. If he should win, he'd be the first Lasix-free Derby champ since Grindstone in 1996. De Kock says Mubtaahij doesn’t need the medication.

"I don’t see it as disadvantage, and it wouldn’t be an excuse, either,” de Kock said. “I feel that the horse doesn’t have a problem with bleeding, and I just don’t want to give the medication because everyone else is giving it."

The colt has also never raced on a track in the U.S., though he has run five times in the past five months, capturing the $2 million U.A.E. Derby on March 28 and earning a chance to compete across the Atlantic. He has four victories in five starts on dirt, after performing poorly in his first two career starts on turf.

Intense Pressure in Louisville

Still, the pace of the Kentucky Derby will be a challenge for Mubtaahij, according to Moss, because it and other major horse races in the U.S. are run at a faster pace than the races in Dubai this year, the U.A.E. Derby in particular. Jockeys at the Kentucky Derby get more aggressive in the first part of the race than they might ordinarily in a mile-and-a-quarter race.

"When you have a 20-horse field, there’s added pressure on the riders to get positioned and avoid being put in a situation where they run in a middle of a big crowd of horses, and you get bumped around," Moss explained." It definitely will be faster — much faster than what Mubtaahij has encountered in Dubai."

The speed and the large contender field aren't the only challenges. The level of noise at Churchill Downs on the day of the race can be overwhelming to any horse. They can get stressed and frazzled, becoming more quickly fatigued.

“There is no way to prepare a horse for it,” Moss said. “For the most part, race horses are trained in pretty bucolic settings, without a lot of stress. There aren’t very large crowds anymore even for a lot of the major races, so when they get to Churchill Downs and they hear 150,000 people on the Kentucky Derby day, it’s a completely foreign experience for the racehorses.”

De Kock joked that he’s probably picked the worst year to attempt to run in the Kentucky Derby, but he considers it a fact-finding mission.

“If this works really well, we hope to repeat it,” de Kock said. “It’s all quite a bit experimental, but we do know we have a lovely horse.” 

Photo Credit: Getty Images

SeaWorld Fined for Safety Violation


SeaWorld San Diego has been cited for allegedly failing to train workers to safely interact with its killer whales.

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health issued four citations this week that carry nearly $26,000 in fines, according to published reports.

The citations say the park hasn't kept employees aware of hazards involving the orcas. They say employees ride and swim with killer whales in the park's medical pool — although keepers aren't allowed in the Shamu Stadium pool during orca shows.

The citations were the result of an inspection of SeaWorld San Diego by Cal/OSHA following a complaint.

SeaWorld plans to appeal. It says the citations show a "fundamental misunderstanding" of what's needed to safely care for orcas.

“The citations issued by Cal/OSHA today were not precipitated by any workplace incident, accident or injury, and they reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the requirements of safely caring for killer whales in a zoological setting,” SeaWorld spokesman David Koontz said in a statement.

Koontz went on to state that SeaWorld has made “significant safety enhancements to our killer whale program,” including implementing personal emergency air systems and lifting pool floors.

SeaWorld has battled negative publicity since the 2013 documentary "Blackfish" suggested the treatment of captive orcas provokes violent behavior. It also noted the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau in an attack by a killer whale.

In response, SeaWorld has launched an advertising campaign to show the allegations in the documentary are false and that its trainers care and safely work with the park’s animals.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Car Collides With School Bus in Farmington


One high school student suffered a minor injury when a car collided with a school bus on Route 4 in Farmington on Friday afternoon, according to police.

Police said it happened around 3:10 p.m. Friday near the Starbucks at 2215 Route 4 East. The First Student bus was transporting students from Northwest Catholic High School in West Hartford.

According to police, the driver of the car that struck the school bus was taken to the hospital for treatment of a pre-existing medical condition that may have been affected by the crash.

The injured student refused medical treatment, according to police.

Police said the driver of the car was at fault and was issued an infraction.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Teen Sold "Marijuana Butter" to Students: Cops


Police have arrested an 18-year-old Oakville resident accused of selling "marijuana butter," which contains a high concentration of THC, to high school students in Watertown.

Police said Jeffrey Grechika had four envelopes of marijuana butter, also known as marijuana wax, hidden under the gear shift in his car.

The substance is made using the oils of marijuana plants and contains an "unknown highly concentrated amount of THC" that "is very dangerous to the user," according to police. It can be eaten or smoked.

An underage passenger in the car with Grechika was also arrested after officers found him with a sandwich bag and four smaller bags full of marijuana.

Grechika and juvenile were each charged with the sale of a controlled substance, possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana and possession of marijuana in a school zone.

Grechika was released on $5,000 bond and is due in court May 12

The juvenile was turned over to his parents and will appear in Torrington Juvenile Court.

Photo Credit: Watertown Police Department

Obama Pushes Body Cameras as CT Moves Ahead


President Barack Obama announced this week that he wants $20 million in grants for police body cameras to be distributed across the country.

Top legislative leaders in Connecticut said that while the gesture from the president is "largely symbolic," the state has taken steps to expand the use of the devices on its own.

The General Assembly's Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee provided $15 million in bonds to pay for a pilot program that would provide body cameras to three municipalities: one small, one medium and one large.

"Communities of different sizes have different issues," said Sen. Martin Looney, the top ranking member in the Connecticut State Senate. "Their police departments operate, of course, according to standard, but there are some differences based on the size of the communities and the nature of law enforcement in those communities."

Body cameras have become a standard in some police departments in Connecticut, but major cities like Hartford and New Haven have yet to adopt them.

Looney, a Democrat from New Haven, said it's common sense at this point to provide instant accountability in the form of a camera.

"If a police officer is doing his or her job correctly then that will document it and if a citizen is being abused, that will also be documented," Looney said.

Critics of the cameras in Connecticut have said they aren't opposed to their use out in the field per se, but that there are instances when the camera must be turned off.

Examples include when police meet with informants in neighborhoods and when they meet with some witnesses.

State Rep. Lezlye Zupkus, a Republican from Prospect, said in March that she knows of other medical instances when people may want privacy from cameras on police officers.

"I actually had one of my friends have a baby in the driveway and I know if that was me I would want the camera off," Zupkus said.

Looney agrees with that assessment.

"We need to make sure of is that we have a good, effective working standard for the use of this technology," he said.

Police departments and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have raised concerns about the costs of storing the data and files recorded by the cameras. While the cameras have costs, they are concerned that data storage and management could be even more expensive.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Arrests After Baltimore Curfew


Baltimore police said they arrested 38 people in incidents related to protests Friday, and arrested 15 curfew-breakers Friday night.

The city is "no longer under tactical alert," Sgt. Jarron Jackson said at a brief press conference late Friday night.

Marchers had remained on Baltimore's streets after a 10 p.m. curfew fell Friday, defying police. The marches seemed to die down shortly before 11 p.m. -- thanks in part to police who arranged themselves in long lines, carrying transparent shields, to herd the protesters off the streets.

In a series of tweets, Baltimore police said the protesters remained in Baltimore's War Memorial Plaza "in violation of the curfew" and that officers were arresting protesters who refused to leave. 

Earlier in the evening, a more jubilant crowd gathered at the Pennsylvania and North avenues intersection in West Baltimore. More than 100 people were dancing in the streets Friday night and chanting "Freddie" to celebrate charges against six officers in connection with Freddie Gray's death.

The marches followed peaceful and celebratory gatherings Friday, expressing support of the charges filed against six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray. 

Demonstrations also broke out in other major U.S. cities, including Chicago and Oakland.

The Baltimore protesters said they planned to march to the Baltimore City Detention Center, where at least three of the officers are being held. As they marched, they chanted, "no justice, no peace" and "we support Freddie Gray."

A large crowd gathered earlier in the afternoon at West North Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in Baltimore -- the intersection where rioters gathered Monday, damaging some stores and businesses.

Cars honked as they traveled by, as marchers waved flags and signs. Police gathered, too,  though the interaction between the police and marchers was peaceful.

One mother brought her young son to the march.

"He's here because I just wanted him to have a minute of euphoria before the realistic work of seeking real justice happens," said Baltimore resident Elissa Blount-Moorhead. "It's so rare that we even have this minue of happy celebration.

"And he asked me, in his terms, about accountability and punishment," Blount-Moorhead said. "I explained to him that people were happy because this is the first time that we feel that there is going to be accountability."

Groups organizing some of the marches have announced plans for a "victory rally" Saturday in Baltimore.

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