Episode 168: ‘Collision Course’ Of An Officer And Teen Leads To Fatal Shooting; ‘The Portuguese Kids’ Tap Their Background For Comedy


Community organizer Kerry Ellington (center) leads a chant during a march to the Wethersfield mayor’s house on May 3, 2019. The march followed the release of videos showing a police officer shooting an 18-year-old after a traffic stop. (Ryan Caron King/Connecticut Public)

This week on NEXT, a teenager and officer’s “Collision Course” leads to a fatal shooting. We look at racial profiling and policing in New England. And patients forced into psychiatric treatment are suing New Hampshire for allegedly being held too long against their will. Plus, “The Portuguese Kids” tap their backgrounds for comedy material.

New Documentary “Collision Course” Examines Fatal Shooting In Connecticut Suburb


On average, police are more likely to pull over a person of color than a white person. That’s what the data shows. Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Vermont have all taken steps to reduce this disparity, but these traffic stops still happen every day. And that higher number of stops leads to more encounters between civilians and police. Last April, Anthony “Chulo” Vega Cruz was shot and killed by police in Wethersfield, Conn. after cops tried to pull him over. He was 18 years old. A new documentary from Connecticut Public called “Collision Course” tells the story of Vega Cruz and the officer who shot him. 

How New Hampshire’s Shortage Of Mental Health Beds Erodes Patient’s Rights

A patient takes notes detailing her experiences during her 20-day confinement in a hospital emergency department. Crayon was the only writing tool she was allowed.  (Jason Moon/NHPR)

Imagine you are forced to go to a hospital to receive psychiatric treatment that you don’t think you need. What rights would you have? That’s the question at the heart of a legal battle between the state of New Hampshire, the ACLU, and nearly two-dozen hospitals. A ruling in the case could have profound impacts on how New Hampshire treats people who are in a mental health crisis. The case involves a group of mostly anonymous plaintiffs who were confined in hospital emergency departments.

The Portuguese Kids’ tap second-generation immigrant experience for comedy

Al Sardinha, Brian Martins, and Derrick DeMelo or “The Portuguese Kids” outside Improv Asylum. (Henrique Mano/The Portuguese Kids)

The Portuguese Kids” grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts, the city with the largest Portuguese-American population in the United States. After years of comedy experimentation, they realized they got the most laughs when they tapped their experiences as second-generation immigrants. Mosaic, a podcast about the immigrant experience from The Public’s Radio, digs into the background and comedy of “The Portuguese Kids.”

Also, on this week’s show:

NEXT is produced at Connecticut Public Radio
Host: John Dankosky
Producer: Morgan Springer
Digital Producer: Carlos Mejia
Senior Director: Catie Talarski
Contributors to this episode: Vanessa de la Torre, Deborah Becker, Jason Moon, Ana Gonzalez and Alex Nunes.
Music: Todd Merrell, “New England” by Goodnight Blue Moon, “Brain Disease” by Anjimele and “Front Porch Time Loop” by Dave Richardson.

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