Daniel Kokoszka (2022)
On August 20, 2022, Kokoszka and another man conducted a "First Amendment Audit" at the New London Connecticut Police Department by walking around the department's parking lot while filming. Lieutenant Joshua Bergeson approached Kokoszka and told him to leave as the parking lot was private property and he was subject to arrest for disorderly conduct. When Kokoszka refused, Bergeson attempted to push Kokoszka toward an exit and then blocked his movements and threatened him with arrest for trespassing. Bergeson called the men "fucking losers". Bergeson eventually disengaged and left the area.
Kokoszka filed a complaint against Bergeson, Lieutenant Lawrence Keating, Sergeant Ryan Linderson, and officers Michael Lewis and Eric Sadowski.
Bergeson attempted to charge the men with first-degree trespass. A supervisor rejected that action.
Kokoszka posted the video to his social media channels.
The department conducted an internal investigation and Bergeson was cited for violating department policy regarding "respect and courtesy", "conduct unbecoming an officer", and "use of force reporting". The complaints against the other officers were determined to be unfounded.
Bergeson was suspended for eight days and ordered to take training.
The New London County State's Attorney reviewed the report from the investigation and determined there were no violations of any criminal statutes.
The department released body-worn camera footage from three officers.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 New London Police Department confront self-described “First Amendment auditor”, The Day, 2023-04-07
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Greg Smith, First Amendment 'audit' leads to suspension of Conn. officer, Police1, 2023-04-08
Recent articles: Michael Pessoa, Caleb Savage, Matthew Willet, Thomas Degenstein, Elmer Lopez-Castaneda (2023)