Racist Letter on Official Police Letterhead Threatens Black Officers
By Chris Hoenig
A threatening, racist letter written on official police department letterhead has led to an investigation within the Bridgeport (Conn.) Police Department.
The letter, which opens and closes with “WHITE POWER” in all caps, says “these Black Officers belong in the toilet” and issues a warning to a Black police officer who is currently at the center of controversy.
Bridgeport Police Officer Clive Higgins is one of three officers who were charged with using excessive force during a May 2011 arrest in a city park.
The letter, left in mailboxes inside the department’s headquarters, reads:
“Officer Clive Higgins doesn’t belong here in this Police Department. These Black Officers belong in the toilet. Chief Gaudett and Assistant Chief Nardozzi doesn’t want them here especially Officer Higgins. He doesn’t have a key to the building, that’s a Big Red Flag.
“The Chief promise us the White People, he doesn’t belong here. He’s not getting his gun or badge back. He didn’t even support his fellow Officers in Court. Where were you Higgins
“You better watch your back. We know where you live. Your face was all over the newspaper. Remember you have no duty weapon to defend yourself.
“The Chief and Assistant Chief wants you out of here.. You don’t belong here.
A city spokesman said an investigation is ongoing.
“Any time you hear an officer’s name, we’re all brothers and sisters, it’s just like somebody threatens your brother, you can’t understand why. It’s 2015 and you’re threatening him because of the color of his skin,”Detective Harold Dimbo, who heads the Bridgeport Guardians, a fraternal order of underrepresented officers, said. “If it came from the outside, we’d think, ‘OK, people really don’t like police,’ but coming from inside, there are no words to be said.”
In a YouTube video (warning: the video is difficult to watch due to camera movement), two officers are seen standing over a suspect who had reportedly been tased. One of the officers is seen repeatedly kicking and stomping on the suspect before Higgins arrives in a patrol car and also kicks the man as he lies prone on the ground.
The other two officersidentified as Elson Morales, who is Latino, and Joseph Lawlor, who is whitepleaded guilty and were sentenced to three months in prison. They both resigned from the police department.
Higgins, meanwhile, fought the charges and was acquitted last month by a jury. He remains with the Bridgeport PD but has been reassigned to the records room.