A Connecticut police department fired an officer after he berated a woman running errands, claiming she nearly hit him with her car, the agency reported.
“Stop the [expletive] car,” former Waterbury Police Officer James Hinkle is heard saying on bodycam footage to a driver last month as he stood in the middle of a road while directing traffic. He argued that a woman driving an SUV tried to “run me over.”
Hinkle is seen walking toward the SUV and demanding the woman pull over into a parking lot and exit the vehicle.
“What is such an important factor that me standing in the middle of the street stopping you, and you try to run me over,” Hinkle told the woman.
“I wasn’t trying to run you over,” the woman responded, explaining she was on her way to Target. She said she thought Hinkle had directed her to proceed driving through the intersection.
“I got two kids at home waiting for me to come home tonight,” Hinkle shouted.
“Sir, I’m very sorry,” the woman said, but Hinkle responded that “sorry doesn’t break it.”
“I have kids at home and you almost ran me over a week before Christmas,” Hinkle continued in the video. He added that the woman was “lucky” she was not in handcuffs.
Hinkle was fired on Monday, according to the police department.
“His conduct during this encounter with a citizen of the community is unacceptable and not representative of the men and women serving the Waterbury Police Department,” Waterbury Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo said Tuesday in a statement, according to CT Insider.
The police chief added that footage of the scene made him “shudder.”
“It really rocks you to the core, it does me anyway,” the chief said. “I’ve been in this profession a very long time. That’s not the way we handle ourselves or conduct business.”
Police reached out to the unidentified female driver in the video, who was “amicable” with officers.
“Thankfully, she took my call,” Spagnolo said of the woman. “I didn’t know how that was going to go.”
Spagnolo stressed that Hinkle’s actions were “inexcusable,” and members of the force are not trained to conduct themselves in such a way.
“As far as we are concerned, that is not behavior we condone,” the police chief said. “Our officers are not trained to act that way. We will not tolerate that type of actions or behavior toward the public from our police officers.”