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New Haven Police Investigating Racial Epithet Over Police Radio

New Haven Police Department shield (credit: City Of New Haven)

New Haven Police Department shield (credit: City Of New Haven)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Black officers are alleging racism at the New Haven Police Department, including the use of the N-word during a police radio transmission in December.

The allegations were revealed Thursday by three groups – the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, the New Haven County Silver Shields and the New Haven Guardians.

As WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reported, the most recent incident occurred on the Dec. 30 midnight shift.

Police Chief Dean Esserman says the department is investigating the racial epithet incident. He says racist behavior within the department will not be tolerated.

“We called in technical expertise, we called in FBI forensic analysts, we’ve interviewed people, we’ve pulled telephone records along with radio records. We don’t have an answer yet,” Esserman told Schneidau. “We’re told that in the new era of radio systems, no one’s even sure whether it’s a New Haven police officer who did it.”

If the person responsible for the epithet is determined to be a New Haven police officer, Esserman said they will be terminated.

The three groups also say someone drew a swastika on a cruiser in the police garage nearly two years ago. Thirty officers were investigated, but the culprit hasn’t been identified.

Esserman also has said there are pending charges against a sergeant who allegedly made a racially and sexually insensitive comment in front of a black female department employee.

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