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Bridgeport community members call for police body cameras

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BRIDGEPORT -- Hundreds packed the Islamic Community Center for a similar cause -- transparency.

The group CONNECT, which stands for "Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut", held a public forum addressing serious matters that plague the Bridgeport community.

The group focused on the need for body cameras for the city's police officers. A video showing a Bridgeport police officer hitting a teen in the face was shown to the group.

“I was ashamed when I saw that video," said Bridgeport police chief A.J. Perez. "I placed that officer on administrative status and I ordered an internal affairs investigation. I took her gun. I took her badge. I took everything I could take from her and I barred her from entering the Bridgeport Police Department. That investigation is a top priority in the department."

Perez spoke with the organization's leader during the public forum. He made several promises to the group including a commitment to training 100 veteran officers in de-escalation methods by May of 2018.

He also promised to apply for state funding for body cameras for every police officer by the end of next week.

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