Thursday, September 23, 2021

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CT Chief Attorney's Office: No Cause for Criminal Charges in North Branford Racism Post Investigated by NBPD

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A statement issued by North Branford Police said the swift investigation exemplifies the department's commitment to transparency and that the department stands '...committed with all of those in our community and around the state of Connecticut in condemning racism.'

Image from North Branford Police Department on Facebook

A statement issued by North Branford Police said the swift investigation exemplifies the department's commitment to transparency and that the department stands '...committed with all of those in our community and around the state of Connecticut in condemning racism.' Image from North Branford Police Department on Facebook)

A social media post with racist comments brought to the attention of North Branford Police Department (NBPD) last week touched off an investigation including review by the Connecticut Chief State's Attorney Office, after which police said no criminal charges will be filed. A statement issued by NBPD said the swift investigation exemplifies the department's commitment to transparency and that the department stands "...committed with all of those in our community and around the state of Connecticut in condemning racism."

Last week, NBPD first shared news it would begin an investigation into the video, which includes racist comments from two young male residents. The video was not shared by police.

One copy of the Instagram video, with a length of 42 seconds, has been shared by a subscriber with the notation "Post for Awareness." As of July 28, it had garnered over 51,400 views. Those in the video appear to be inebriated. Comments in the video include the "N" word, a disparaging reference to the late George Floyd's neck and the "hope" that the "next generation" has "stronger" necks.  Floyd died May 25, 2020 on a street in Minneapolis, MN as his neck was pinned by Derek Chauvin, the police officer later convicted of Floyd's murder and sentenced to 22.5 years in prison.

After the video came to the attention of NBPD last week, police issued a press release on July 20 shared on its Facebook page, notifying that NBPD "...is aware of a disturbing, disgusting and abhorrent video which was released via a social media platform Instagram.  In this video we have identified two North Branford residents. This incident is an active investigation and is currently being evaluated by the New Haven States Attorney's office.  We will continue to work with our Law enforcement partners and community leaders to address this incident.  This video in no way identifies the values, morals or beliefs of any of our residents in North Branford.  We along with all of you are angry and outraged by these individuals actions.  We stand with all of our community in condemning racism and will proceed further with all recommendations and actions recommended by the Connecticut States Attorney's office."

On July 27, NBPD Deputy Chief James Lovelace issued an update on the matter, stating, "After an extensive review by the Connecticut Chief State's Attorney Office no criminal charges will be filed. The North Branford Police Department thanks the Chief's State's Attorney office for their assistance, professionalism and expertise in evaluating this incident.

This investigation is an example of this department's commitment to transparency and unwavering support and trust from our community.  We stand committed with all of those in our community and around the state of Connecticut in condemning racism.  We further stand with all our criminal justice partnerships in investigating any and all complaints of hate crimes in a swift and professional manner.  We further will continue to work with all of our community leaders, community stakeholders and residents in ending all forms of racism. The North Branford Police Department thanks the community and all those affected by this incident for their patience and understanding as a comprehensive review was conducted."


Pam Johnson covers news for Branford and North Branford for Zip06. Email Pam at p.johnson@shorepublishing.com.

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