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Esserman Moves To Fire Rookie Cop For Rules Violation

A rookie New Haven cop not only allowed her ex-boyfriend to use her car to deal drugs after she was warned against it—she also maintained a relationship with a convicted murderer, according to an internal investigation that has led the police chief to seek her dismissal.

The officer, Najae Poindexter, is fighting the termination. Her lawyer began grilling her investigators Wednesday night at a hearing of the Board of Police Commissioners called to consider the request by Chief Dean Esserman to fire Poindexter.

The hearing at 1 Union Ave. lasted two hours, at which point Esserman asked that it be continued for the sake of “transparency and openness.” The commission voted unanimously to continue the hearing until March. The fourth-floor board room was packed with observers, including several city alders.

Markeshia Ricks Photo

Esserman asked the commission to support his decision to fire Poindexter, who just graduated from the Police Academy last October, after a 400-plus-page internal investigation report concluded that she violated two sections of department Rule 15, which describes the conduct officers must follow or face “reprimand, suspension, reduction in rank or grade, or ... dismissal.” Poindexter, who was temporarily assigned to desk duty during the investigation, was found to have “consorted with individuals involved in criminal activity” and to have “publicly discredited the department through both news articles and public response,” said attorney Jared Lucan, who represented the department.

After Poindexter’s attorney, Marshall Segar, cross examined the department’s star witness, raising questions about the quality of the department’s investigation, Esserman requested that the commission continue the hearing so that more officers and supervisors could be brought in to speak to the questions Segar raised. Initially, only Esserman the investigating officer, and Poindexter were slated to appear and testify at the hearing.

“It’s been a long night,” Esserman said. “I can go long ... but every hearing is a search for truth. There is no question that the defense has raised questions which need to be answered by people who are not in this room.”

Tip Of The Iceberg?

The investigation that led to Wednesday night’s hearing for Poindexter’s termination stems from a Jan. 17 traffic stop and arrest (first reported here) of a man driving a white Honda Crossover with his lights off — and allegedly carrying large quantities of heroin and crack cocaine.

The car belonged to Poindexter. A cop delivered the keys to her home, and she came and retrieved her Honda. Poindexter was reportedly in a relationship with the alleged dealer, who also is the father of her child. In a previous interview with the Independent, police union President Louis Cavaliere Jr. denied that Poindexter currently is in a relationship with the man beyond the contact she has with him because of their child; and he argued that she deserves to stay on the force. Cavaliere argued that the department’s Rule 15 contains vague, outdated language (like “hoodlums”).

Poindexter has yet to tell her side of the story. (Cavaliere related it in this story.) She was expected to testify at Wednesday’s commission hearing.  She declined the option of having the hearing closed.

In keeping with OneWorld's motto: "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness," we invite you to be engaged for a few more minutes.

The NHI article continues on its web site.  Here is one critical piece of information to be considered: "... a man serving a prison sentence for murder, called Poindexter 17 times from prison and she spoke with him at least 10 of the times he called. A transcript of one of the conversations allegedly shows her telling Wright that a previous internal investigation of her alleged connections were “B.S.,” ..“and that [the department] can’t control who she associates with.”    There are many posted comments.  OneWorld invites you to read the entire NHI article linked below.  Please keep in mind that Ms. Poindexter is an educated woman. After digesting the information, and being as objective as is possible (as a NH resident), ask and answer-- for yourself -- the following questions:

1)  What are the salient issues involved? 2) Given all of the points made public so far, can Ms. Poindexter be an effective police officer in the NHPD if, through the union, she retains her job?

3) Did the NHPD do an effective job in conducting their background research on Ms. Poindexter as a candidate for the Police Academy?

4) Are there points or information provided that make you uncomfortable in having this young woman as a member of the NHPD?

5) Is there anything about the hearing that makes you uncomfortable? How would you like to see that concern addressed and by whom?

6)  If you could be a part of the hearing, what questions would you ask and directed at whom?

See other police conduct-related articles and information linked below.

"The NYPD prohibits cops from associating with people involved in criminal activity. An NYPD spokeswoman said cops are subject to termination if they are found to violate department policies while in The NYPD prohibits cops from associating with people involved in criminal activity. An NYPD spokeswoman said cops are subject to termination if they are found to violate department policies while in their probationary period.

Rivera was stripped of her guns and shield on Aug. 10 and fired three days later.

When she filed for unemployment payments, the NYPD objected and wrote a letter to the Labor Department stating that she was fired for associating with criminals, which increased the likelihood she would engage in criminal conduct, Rivera said."

An interesting take on the Rules and Regulations for Black Cops found at this link:

2007 (4) AELE Mo. L. J. 201 - Employment Law Section - April, 2007 – Association With Known Criminals

“Department members shall not fraternize or associate with known criminals.”

OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc., is a small group of committed volunteers who produce community information and education television programs on health literacy, education and civic engagement.  We also find good information and post informative blogs about issues we believe shine light and are beneficial to many in our communities.  Learn more about us at our web site:  and visit our Civic Engagement section at: We are about Civic Engagement & Public Good. - OneWorld’s YouTube – See us also on:

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