City officials in Bridgeport Connecticut are investigating a recently-leaked memo that was printed on official police department letterhead. The police memo begins and ends with the phrase “White Power” and makes repeated threats towards African American police officers on the department.
The memo, whoever in the department wrote it, was placed in officers’ mailboxes at police headquarters. The letter’s contents disparages and threatens African American and Latino officers. It also singles out one officer who was recently cleared of police brutality charges.
The letter is addressed to Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph Gaudett and says “Officer Clive Higgins doesn’t belong here in this Police Department” as well as “These Black Officers belong in the toilet.”
Higgins had just been acquitted in a 2011 police brutality case where officers were recorded on video beating a suspect and tasering him. Two officers in the video were convicted, but Higgins was not. He refused to testify on the behalf of the officers who were convicted, based on their own abusive actions in the video.
“He’s not getting his gun or his badge back. He didn’t even support his fellow Officers in Court,” the letter read. “Where were you Higgins ?? You better watch your back.. We know where you live.”
The memo adds “black officers belong in the toilet,” according to Bridgeport police detective Herald Dimbo at a Wednesday news briefing, as well as a copy of the letter which we received.
Dimbo said the department received three similar letters in the last year. There is no denial from anyone in the department that the letterhead is official and does seem to have come directly from the department.
Dimbo said he believes a racist member of the department wrote the memo and it was placed in the mailboxes from there.
He added that back in the 1980s, the Bridgeport department had been placed under a “federal remedy order as a result of being found guilty of discriminatory practice.”
This order was only lifted in 2012.