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New Haven officers charged with illegally firing guns

April 6, 2012 4:54:54 PM PDT
Three police officers were arrested on charges of interfering with a police officer, and two of them were charged with unlawfully discharging their guns.

The arrests followed an investigation into a claim that one or more off-duty officers illegally fired guns early Sunday outside a bar. No injuries were reported.

Police said Friday that Officers Lawrence Burns and Charles Kim were charged with interfering with a police officer, unlawful discharge of a firearm and reckless endangerment, while Officer Krzystof Ruszczyk was charged with interfering with a police officer. They were placed on administrative leave and were ordered to surrender their weapons.

The interfering charge was because the officers left the scene after they were told by a responding officer to remain, police spokesman Officer David Hartman said. The officers were not firing their guns at anyone, he said.

Police say they voluntarily surrendered and are due in court April 20 for arraignment.

It was unclear if the officers had attorneys. A message was left with the police union.

Mayor John DeStefano called the officers' behavior "unacceptable."

"It is not representative of the hard work and commitment of the men and women of the police department," he said. "The police department's action is appropriate."

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