The Day That Was…

On September 11th Stratford Police Sargent Jamie “Javi” Rivera posted on Facebook (see screen shot of post below) which was then widely shared and condemned on social media. In his post Sargent Rivera claimed “Black lives matter is a terrorist organization!!!! They call for the killing of cops. No matter what color.”

The post went viral, resulting in a statement published by Mayor Laura Hoydick and the Rev. D. Stanley Lord, President of the Greater Bridgeport NAACP, following a meeting between Rev. Lord and Police Chief Joseph McNeil. Additional statements were also issued by Town organizations condemning Sgt. Rivera’s post.

During the Town Council meeting on September 14th Stratford residents spoke during the Public Forum on the recent Facebook post by Sgt. Rivera

Rev. Lord, Greater Bridgeport NAACP
Dr. Tina Manus
Yolanda Mitchell
Donald Goodson
Sonya Huber
Stacey Tavaras
Linda Fernandes
Kimberly Rice
Stephanie Philips

 

All speakers called for police accountability for the incident, including (but not limited to) a police review board, education and training. Mr. Goodson noted that every crisis presents an opportunity, and hoped that Stratford would take this incident to work with the NAACP and well as members of C.A.R.E ((Citizens Addressing Racial Equity). There was also calls for an investigation into Sgt. Rivera’s post, as apparently there is a Code of Conduct for the police department that might have been violated.

The Stratford Crier made an editorial decision to post all of the statements for reader information with no comment or opinion. Before posting this article a call was placed to Mayor Hoydick and Police Chief McNeil for comment. Their offices did not respond.


 

Racial Equity Subject of Zoom Talks “Conversations” Begin November 5

A series of six Conversations on Racial Equity is set for the Zoom platform beginning Thursday, November 5 at 7:30 pm. The new series is presented by Stratford CARE (Citizens Addressing Racial Equity) and sponsored by the Town of Stratford, the Stratford Clergy Association and the Stratford Library. The program is free and open to the public.

Led by trained facilitators from Raising the BAR, a program of the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport, the goal of the program is to make people come together to make Stratford stronger and healthier for all. Thought-provoking videos, articles and podcasts about how racism has shaped our environment will be discussed and participants will also work in small groups to discuss how to unite to take action, heal divides and make a difference in Stratford.

The series begins on November 5 with “Starting Point: Implicit Bias” held on Zoom from 7:30-8:45 pm. The remaining programs in the series include: “Housing Disparities” on December 3, “Health Disparities” (January 7, 2021) “Educational Disparities” (February 4), “Employment Disparities” (March 4) and “Criminal Justice Disparities” (April 1). It is not necessary to attend every session in order to take part in the series.

To register for the free conversation series visit: www.stratfordcare.org/courage.


Statement from the Stratford Republican Party

Lou Decilio, Chairman of the Stratford Republican Party

This is being handled by the administration, Chief of Police, the NAACP, and CARES.
Everyone is in communications and I’m confident it will be settled.

 

Statement from the Stratford Democrats

By Steve Taccogna, Chairman of the Stratford Democrats

The Stratford Democratic Town Committee strongly condemns the irresponsible, offensive, and erroneous comments made by Sgt. Jaime Rivera of the Stratford Police Department about the Black Lives Matter movement.

These comments are unacceptable and reprehensible. They are aimed at movements to end systemic police brutality against black men, women, and children and to silence those calling for such reform. This act of bad faith calls into serious question the suitability of the officers who stand against this goal.

It is vital that we hold people accountable for their words and deeds, especially those in whom we have placed our trust and our safety. It is also imperative that those who do not share the values of routing out racism in our law enforcement system and in our communities be investigated and assessed on whether they can conduct their jobs without bias or malice.

We await the Stratford Police Department’s plan to address this individual incident, to prevent similar situations in the future, and to rout out in its own department the underlying sentiments that lead to behaviors such as those exhibited by Sgt. Rivera.

Stratford Library Open for Business

By Sheri Szymanski
Director, Stratford Library

While the world paused to get its bearings, the Stratford Library did the same. As we all shift back to our autumn “normal,” we thought it would be helpful to update you all on some of the goings on at the Library that you may (or may not!) already know about, including:

● The entire Library is open for browsing, borrowing!

● Computers for Adults and Teens can be reserved in advance for a one hour time slot. Call: 203 385-4164 for an appointment.

● Express computers are available for printing and quick computing needs, no appointment necessary for a 15 minute session, once a day.

● You will enter the building through the back (parking lot) entrance and will be greeted by a staff member who will screen you prior to entry.

● Masks must be worn by everyone (age 2 and up) while in the library.

● The Library will begin assessing overdue fees on September 28th (no fees will be charged from March 13 through September 26). However, if you still find yourself wary of venturing out, please call 203-385-4160 and we’ll work with you to try to extend loan periods. It may not always be possible, especially if items have holds on them, but we will work with you!  All items may be returned 24/7 in the Book Drops located at the front and rear of the Library.

● Items returned to the Stratford Library are quarantined for 3-5 days, so they are not immediately removed from your account (no overdue fees are charged for quarantine days).  If you see returned materials still on your account six days after returning them, call 203-385-4160

● Use your Stratford Library card to access free, downloadable books, videos, audiobooks, music and magazines.

● Photocopiers and scanners are available, no appointment necessary.

● The microfilm reader/printer is available by appointment.  Call 203-385-4161.

● Our Adult, Teen, & Children’s Departments are working harder than ever to bring you a variety of wonderful virtual programs Grab ‘n’ Go kits. Check out our Events Calendar or sign-up for library eNewsletters for the latest news on our programs & services.

● If you still prefer contact free Take-Out Service, call to make arrangements (Teen 203-385-4167; Adult 203-385-4164).