Society

Bridgeport, Conn., Residents Protest Response To Cop Who Shot Own Leg

| by Khier Casino

Residents of Bridgeport, Conn., rallied outside the city’s police headquarters Monday to protest the department’s response to an accidental shooting by an officer.

According to News 12 Connecticut, Officer Juan Santiago, 55, shot himself in the leg at a bagel shop with a gun that was not his service weapon.

Protestors believe Santiago, a 28-year veteran of the police force, should have been charged with unlawful discharge of a firearm and reckless endangerment.

Many of the protestors are licensed to carry a gun.

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“Had that been me, my permit would have been revoked, my firearms would have been seized, and I would have been arrested on the spot,” one resident, Elizabeth Drysdale told News 12.

Another protestor, Lenny Benedetto of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, spoke with WTNH News 8, saying, “We are all legal gun owners, we have our permits to carry, and if we had done what he [did], we would have been arrested on the spot, our permits would have been revoked, and we would never been able to own a gun in the United States again. We just want to make sure there are equal rights for police officers and regular citizens in the state of Connecticut.”

The Connecticut Post reported that Santiago did not know the gun was loaded, but no one else was hurt. The officer is out on sick leave recovering, and city officials say state police are still investigating the incident.