- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 12, 2014

BRANFORD, Conn. (AP) - A Branford police officer has sparked an internal affairs investigation for saying he wanted to storm someone’s house and seize their gun during aFacebook exchange with gun rights supporters.

Town police officials are looking into whether Officer Joe Peterson violated any department policies with the post during the online exchange last week with local gun rights advocate John Cinque and others, the New Haven Register reported Tuesday (https://bit.ly/1g7YU9G ).

Peterson wrote in the March 4 Facebook post that he would like to “bang down your door and come for your gun.” The comment apparently was in response to a posting by a third man, who wrote Peterson “would round up Jews and put them in ghettos, if the government told him to.”

Peterson is on worker’s compensation leave after a police cruiser accident. He couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday. A phone listing for him wasn’t in service.

“We treat every allegation concerning our agency with the utmost of seriousness,” Police Chief Kevin Halloran said in statement. “This, like any other allegation, will be thoroughly investigated and if any law, departmental rule or regulation has been violated, the officer will be held accountable.”

Cinque said he has been flooded with emails, calls and Facebook postings by people supporting him and condemning Peterson’s comments. He said he met with Halloran on Tuesday to discuss the episode.

“The problem now is, we have a forest fire burning, and we’ve got to see how we can go about extinguishing it,” he said.

Peterson has been harshly criticized online by numerous gun-rights advocates who believe Connecticut’s gun laws are too restrictive.

“I believe he needs to have a remedial course in the United States Constitution,” Cinque said, when asked if Peterson should be disciplined. “I am not looking for a pound of flesh. That’s for the individual person to decide.”


Information from: New Haven Register, https://www.nhregister.com

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