Racist letter on police stationery rants against black officers

Story highlights

  • An anonymous, racist letter on Bridgeport, Connecticut, police stationery pans black officers
  • But it targets in particular a black officer acquitted of using undue force in a police kicking incident
  • Two more officers, a Hispanic man and a white man, were convicted and face prison

(CNN)An anonymous letter bitterly insulting African-American officers was recently found in mailboxes at a Connecticut police station.

It was written on official letterhead.
It starts out with the words "WHITE POWER" in capital letters. And it contains a line that reads, "These Black Officers belong in the toilet." It ends at the bottom with a repeat of the words "WHITE POWER."
    The letter was flagged to authorities by a police organization for minority officers, The Bridgeport Guardians.
    "If the person spewing this hate is a police officer, what is he doing in the community?" asked Thomas Bucci, an attorney representing the Bridgeport Guardians.
    Bucci said the police chief should address the issue at roll call.
    Brett Broesder, a spokesman for Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, said in a statement: "The bottom line is that we have the most diverse police department in the state. We've launched an aggressive recruitment effort in order to make the department even more representative of our community. And, our crime rate is at historic lows. Any allegation of racial discrimination that seeks to divide our police department or our community will not be tolerated."
    Broesder said the 394-member police department is 27% Hispanic and 15% black
    The statement from the city said state police were investigating the incident and "swift, fair, just and immediate action will be taken against those guilty of wrongdoing."

    Singled out

    Though decidedly racist against all black officers, the letter singles out one in particular -- Clive Higgins -- who a jury recently acquitted of using undue force in the kicking of a detained man lying at the feet of Higgins. Two other officers, one Hispanic and one white, were also involved.
    Those men -- Elson Morales and Joseph Lawlor -- resigned from the force, pleaded guilty to the kicking charges and will serve three months in prison.
    The incident in May 2011 was caught on video and posted to YouTube.
    The unsteady shot begins with the nattering sound of a Taser, before the lens sways over to a man on the ground.
    Two police officers appear to try to cuff him, then both of them kick him. A third officer, African-American, pulls up in a squad car and launches one small kick at the detained man lying on the ground.

    Controversial acquittal

    Whoever wrote the racist letter apparently didn't like that Higgins was acquitted alone and threatened his life for not going along with his convicted colleagues.
    "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," it read.