Hartford police Chief James C. Rovella has been condemned by the local police union after he joined marchers who were protesting the Taser shooting of a city teen, reports the Hartford Courant. Rovella “sent the wrong message to the rank and file,” said union President Richard Holton. About 75 protesters marched to police headquarters Wednesday night, seeking to get police to drop charges against Luis Anglero Jr., 18, who was shot with a Taser by Detective Shawn Ware as police were attempting to disperse a crowd on Aug. 19.
Rovella, Hartford’s police chief for two years, and other officers joined the protesters during the march, and he addressed the group at police headquarters. Responding by email to Holton’s criticisms, Rovella said, “I walked among the protesters today for the purpose of exchanging ideas and points of view…I am trying to diffuse any continued animosity towards police.” He said he was “neutral” pending the outcome of an internal investigation of the Taser shooting, which was captured on video.