Branford Police

The Branford Police Department is investigating recent Facebook posts made by one of their Community Service Officers (CSR).

Paul Kenney, who serves as a CSR in Branford, is also a retired New Haven police officer, made the posts.

The posts, which featured homophobic terms and accusations of bribery directed at Planning and Zoning Commissioners in anger over the Parkside project, were posted to an Infowars-style conspiracy theory page started by resident Wayne Cooke.

Comparing a recent moratorium granted Milford on affordable housing, Kenney wrote that local officials “never even attempted to lift a finger to combat this like Milford and other towns. Just rolled their lazy, fat, gay and weasily asses over, took envelopes and let the out of towners and opposition minority party have their way to destroy our neighborhood and town!”

Kenney has taken to the Cooke conspiracy site many times in anger over the Parkside issue, attacking a long list of town officials.

Regarding the matter, Deputy Chief John Alves stated today that “We have been notified that a Community Service Officer has posted insulting and inappropriate comments to a Facebook page via his personal social media account.  We have begun an internal investigation on the matter and it will be addressed appropriately by our agency.” 

Kenney’s posts in question have been since removed.

The Parkside project has been contentious, but town officials have largely been handcuffed due to state law regarding Affordable Housing. The applicants for the project have used the law to circumvent significant items that would almost certainly have led to a rejection of the 4-story structure application had the affordable housing statute not been approved.

Towns can apply for a moratorium on the law, but are typically approved after the town has allowed some affordable housing. Because Branford as less that 10% of its housing stock deed restricted as “affordable,” it has become a target of developers using the law s a weapon to circumvent zoning.

The Parkside issue remains in court, as the applicant look to avoid some of the stipulations placed on the project.

The Cooke site has become a gathering place for the disgruntled and often misinformed. Cooke has attacked countless officials of both political parties with a long list of false claims as he remains unable to find a buyer at his asking price for his property.  

(37) comments

Guest

He should be fired. We don't need BIGOTS in positions of power in our town. If he were still a cop in New Haven and posted that garbage he'd be out of his job there too.

Guest

Amen.

Guest12345671234567

The 37 year-old, who is believed to work at a barber shop in Branford, was riding his bicycle in the area. Kenney was working an extra-duty job at the construction site. Ortiz said he doesn’t think the bicyclist knew the cop. The bicyclist wore a bulletproof vest. He spoke “words of hatred” to the cop, then pulled out a gun, shot a few times, and fled, according to Ortiz.[rolleyes][rolleyes][rolleyes][rolleyes]

Guest

LOL

Overheadunderfoot

The officer needs to be fired immediately and the Branford police need to have force-wide mandatory in -service training to ensure that this never happens again.

Guest

you run with Cooke, you get fleas. Self-inflicted wound, and it may cost him his job. he has posted nasty stuff for some time.

Guest

Free speech is dead, welcome to fascism.

Guest

Sometimes free speech comes with consequences. Nobody said he can’t express himself, he just can’t express himself and hold the position he does.

Guest

Just because he used the word gay doesn’t automatically make this comment homophobic. What if some of the people he’s referring to are gay? He’s not saying he hates gay people or he doesn’t want them in Branford. Maybe he is merely stating facts.



Like previously stated, free speech is dead.

Guest

The quote: "Just rolled their lazy, fat, gay and weasily asses over, took envelopes and let the out of towners and opposition minority party have their way to destroy our neighborhood and town!"



Hell yes, this is inappropriate for any officer. How is anyone defending this? This is about the very town he is supposed to be serving. And yes, its derogatory, insulting, and bigoted. He should apologize, and end any connection to Wayne Cooke. When we start believing officers can post things like this, we have real issues. I dont think he should be fired, but send in an apology letter, and call it a day. What he did was wrong.

Guest

I see but remember that all who post have a job that in some way links to the public. So all who post their views that others do not like should also be held to this standard. The question should be has this person in his job role shown what he posted or has he been impartial to al and done as one expected in his position to do.

Guest

Looks like police officers don’t have the right of freedom of speech if this was someone unrelated to law enforcement this wouldn’t even be a issue quit being so sensitive and a bunch of cry babies

Guest

Try saying what he said at your job and let us know how you make out....

Guest

I dont care how nice of a guy he seems or what his career was, if he cant communicate about an issue without calling people fat and gay and alleging paybacks, then he should be spending his days next to Wayne Cooke and not being paid by the taxpayers. He should be fired immediately. If the powers that be saw these posts before hiring him, they never would have. Its disgusting. Fire him.

Guest

I totally agree. Well stated!

Guest

Freedom of speech comes with consequences when the public is paying your salary. This person should be removed from his job based on his comment and temperament shown. Social media can be very dangerous when a person has a bad day and stops thinking before hitting send.

Guest

Everyone should have an absolute right to hold, share and express any view or opinion that they personally believe in while in their personal capacity, without having to request approval/permission or fear any type of disciplinary action against them at their place of employment so long as their posting activities occur when they are not actively working or using employer-owned resources (computers, etc). This whole idea of censoring or inhibiting anyone's ability to express their opinions as guaranteed by the First Amendment because they "have a job" in ANY position (public trust or not) is absolutely ridiculous and back-door fascism thought-policing. You are NOT paid by your employer 24/7 and therefore they DON'T own you and should have absolutely no say what you say, do, or think when you're not on the clock - that would be slavery and that ended almost 200 years ago.

Steve Mazzacane Staff
Steve Mazzacane

This is nowhere close to accurate. A simple Google search on the topic may help you to understand better.

Guest

I think we need to worry about bigger issues in this town like sex offender's driving around harassing woman as they take a walk There's a lot of trash on our streets in this so called nice town

Guest

Cooke is a blight on Branford. I'm surprised he, himself, hasn't been arrested yet for illegal dumping with all the signs he continues to throw up all over town. As for the CSO in question, he should be fired for his comments and Branford PD should undergo forcewide retraining. If any officers refuse the training, fire them.

Guest

Why doesn't anyone care that he included fat people? Guess you van hate on fat people but now gays....anti free speech is all this is

Guest

Everyone needs to just relax, Stop being so over sensitive and stop acting like you are so offended , not one of these people can say they have not used words they regret, but to try to get a guy fired is crazy. Also if you want to post that he should be fired, State your name

Guest

So all you free speech think that it takes away your first amendment rights. Let's say I'm a cop that hates racists and you are being held in a hostage situation. Would you trust me to get you out of the situation safely? Let's say I'm a fireman and your house is on fire. You feel ok that I'm going to today my life trying to save you and your kids?

Steve Mazzacane Staff
Steve Mazzacane

This issue has little to nothing to do with free speech. It has to do with the conduct and mindset of those in authority and in position to wield authority. Police departments frequently need to address posts by officers made, in fact, Branford had a similar incident a few years ago.

Guest

This is entirely and completely a free speech issue. It is no more appropriate for an employer to expect to know and control the personal opinions and off duty conduct of anyone else, including their employees than it is for a supposed journalist to express their own opinions on a non-editorial news article to tell the reading audience what their opinion or reaction to the "news" supposedly being reported. I have never, in more than 40 years of life, seen such a thing before. This is completely and wholly outside any semblance of journalism whether you own this particular site or not - you are holding yourself out to be a news reporting entity. Your only chance to shape the story with your personal bias happened when you published the original article with selective editorialization, inclusion and omission.

Steve Mazzacane Staff
Steve Mazzacane

We could care less what you think you know after 40 years, if you think this is a free speech issue, you missed high school civics. Police departments, on a very regular basis, limit what those in its employ can do on their own time and post on social media. As do countless corporations. You are welcome to post, as thankfully for you we allow all intelligence levels, but no matter what your inane belief may be, this has nothing to do with free speech.

Steve Mazzacane Staff
Steve Mazzacane

And in case you still lack the ability to do a basic Google search, the code of ethics very much covers personal life. Enjoy, this is called a link, click it, https://www.theiacp.org/resources/law-enforcement-code-of-ethics

Guest

Sorry Steve, controlling speech is now a mainstay of liberals. Nothing he said could be construed as a personal attack on any individual. You code of ethics is a general statement, nothing he said would have raised any eyebrow even 20 years ago. You are wrong, now we have a PC culture intended to silence FREE SPEECH.

Guest

It sounds to me like less of a free speech issue and more of an anger issue.



A person can be opposed to how the decision-making process over Parkside is being played out without resorting to epithets.



If a person is a Community Service Officer and cannot control how they express emotions, then perhaps that person should not be interacting with adolescents on an everyday basis as a core part of his job!

Guest

There you go again Steve. Flagrantly going out of your way to bash Wayne Cooke, and those that read and post on his branfordfraud page. It seems that being any kind of a real journalist is a thing of the past. The only question now is how much is Wayne paying you per month for the space in your head he's renting?

Steve Mazzacane Staff
Steve Mazzacane

Cooke, at this point, is little more than entertaining. However, his hate speech and slander can have negative impacts on peoples lives, including being a forum where the officer in question felt it was acceptable to post homophobic comments, and now has initiated a police investigation. If you are free to post homophobic comments on ones page, then its hate speech, and such a page should be viewed a such. We actually post very little on Cooke on this site, we are simply waiting to see all the the apparently significant evidence he has to prove his wild legal accusations in court. He deserves his day in court, and with his wealth, he can make sure he gets it, and with his wild accusations, I'm sure he will fight to get his case before a jury and nothing less. So in our head? No. But am I watching the legal filings like a hawk? You betcha.

Guest

Gay? - how does Kenney know - is there something in his closet he wants to share?

Guest

Actually I think Cooke is obsessed with this site. And everyone bashes cooke, he destroyed the best pies in the area not knowing how to run a business, and has been nothing but a drag on Branford since.

Guest

I wouldn't want to be a gay person who had to deal with this officer while he was in a position of authority. Would you?

Guest

Many books I read use the term "gay". Why does everyone assume it's a slur. From the dictionary.



gay adjective

\ ˈgā

\

Definition of gay



(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : happily excited : merry in a gay mood

b : keenly alive and exuberant : having or inducing high spirits a bird's gay spring song

2a : bright, lively gay sunny meadows

b : brilliant in color

3 : given to social pleasures also : licentious

4a : of, relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the same sex : homosexual gay men

b : of, relating to, or intended for people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, etc.

Guest

Because Steve said so. Look back to his comment in this article "WE ( interesting in itself) could care less what you think you know.........."

Guest

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