HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Julian Fyffe says he and a friend were left bleeding and handcuffed in a Connecticut street for nearly 20 minutes without medical attention after being shot by a police officer.
His 15-year-old friend, Jayson Negron, was still breathing. But he would learn later at a hospital that Negron died at the scene following the May 9 shooting in Bridgeport.
“They didn’t do anything. They just kept walking by us,” Fyffe told The Associated Press in a phone interview Thursday. “It took forever to get me in the ambulance. I’m on the floor coughing up blood, bleeding out.”
Fyffe questioned why police and other first responders did not immediately provide medical care. All cadets at the Bridgeport police academy receive 60 hours of training in emergency medical care, including initial treatment of gunshot wounds, said city spokeswoman Rowena White. White declined to comment Friday on Fyffe’s statements.
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Questions about medical response times also have been raised in other fatal police shootings in the U.S., with aftermath videos in some cases leaving the impression there was little urgency to try to save the wounded men. Law enforcement experts say it’s not a sign of callousness, but of trying to ensure the officers and others are safe before approaching someone who could be armed or remain a threat even after they’ve been shot.
A bystander recorded a one-minute video of the aftermath of the shooting of Negron and Fyffe. It’s unknown how long after the shooting the video was taken. At the 18-second mark, an officer bends down and touches Negron, but stands back up. Near the end of the video, an officer wearing blue latex gloves bends down and touches Negron.
Fyffe was shot in his left arm and back. Negron died from gunshot wounds to his chest, the medical examiner said. Both were unarmed, authorities said.
Bridgeport Police Chief Armando Perez has said a rookie officer, James Boulay, opened fire when a stolen sport-utility vehicle driven by Negron suddenly went into reverse and nearly ran over Boulay. Officers had stopped the SUV after a chase and were trying to remove Negron and Fyffe when Boulay fired his gun, Perez said.
Negron’s relatives said police at first told them he died after being shot in the head, and the family members became upset when the short video appeared to contradict what officers told them. Perez later acknowledged that he mistakenly said Negron was shot in the head.
It’s not clear exactly when Negron was pronounced dead at the scene. Police have refused to release a timeline of the shooting and aftermath.
Fyffe said there was no chase and he and Negron were trying to surrender. He said the SUV started moving in reverse by accident when Boulay tried to pull Negron out of the vehicle and Negron’s foot came off the brake. Fyffe said Boulay stepped back into the clear and began shooting.
Negron’s father, like Fyffe, believes the shooting was not justified. Juan Negron appeared at his lawyer’s office for a news conference Friday. His attorney, Michael Rosnick, spoke on his behalf.
“No officer’s life was in danger to warrant the use of deadly force on a child nonetheless,” Rosnick said.
Perez has not returned repeated messages from the AP about the shooting. State police, who are investigating Boulay’s actions, say they will not comment until after the probe is finished.
“Animals are treated better than these two men were,” said Fyffe’s lawyer, Peter Finch. “It’s really sickening.”
Fyffe already has filed a $6 million lawsuit against the city, Boulay, Perez and other officers. City attorney R. Christopher Meyer told the Connecticut Post, “This was a very tragic and sad event, and I’m surprised that anyone would file a lawsuit at this time before the final investigation detailing what happened is complete.”
Boulay was placed on paid administrative leave after the shooting.
He and other officers also are being sued in connection with the alleged beating of another man during a traffic stop last November.