FBI: Slur Didn’t Come From Police Radio

Paul Bass PhotoInvestigators still don’t know who got on the police radio and uttered a racial slur last Dec. 30. But they now know that the slur didn’t come from someone using a New Haven police radio.

That word emerged from a Wednesday morning briefing between the top city cops and the FBI.

Chief Dean Esserman had asked the FBI to help investigate the middle-of-the-night Dec. 30 incident, in which someone got on the police radio, slowly uttered the word “nigger,” then signed off. The incident led to an immediate internal police investigation. It also led to a protest by African-American cops, who criticized police brass’s response to incidents of racism on the part of some members of the department.

The FBI informed New Haven Wednesday that, based on the results of a technical investigation, “the slur was not uttered using a New Haven Police Department radio. The radios are incapable of producing the identification signal that was detected,” according to a subsequent press release issued from 1 Union Ave.

New Haven detectives had been looking at one “person of interest” as a possible suspect, a young North Branford man arrested separately for impersonating a cop. (Read about that here.) Police spokesman Officer David Hartman Wednesday said that man is no longer a “person of interest” in the investigation.

“The amount of work that went into this investigation was remarkable,” Esserman was quoted as saying in Wednesday’s release. “This incident shook and offended every member of our department. Nothing but a thorough and vigorous investigation was called for in this case. We are grateful to the F.B.I. for the high-priority attention they’ve given to this most disturbing matter”.

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posted by: Theresa on April 30, 2014  5:24pm

What a waste of manpower. With so many issues facing the city the police choose to make a federal case out of one juvenile racist. The time spent on this and the Yale incident could be better used looking into unsolved murder cases, of which the city has plenty.

posted by: JustAnotherTaxPayer on April 30, 2014  8:02pm

So this means there is not racism within the New Haven Police Department? Because it was not a radio signature of one that is known to be in the hands of a New Haven Police Officer? What about the number of portables that have been “lost or stolen”, and reported as such by the officers who claim they “lost”, or had “stolen”, the $2500 police portable radio (paid for and owned by the taxpayers of New Haven)assigned to them. How many have gone missing, and how is one to believe the personnel who would readily admit they somehow had equipment they were responsible for, “stolen”? That’s a tough one, as the reporter is a COP. And the Cop’s job is to prevent thieves, or at least be able to catch them. Unless these reports are BS, and these officers know enough to change the encrypted signature, so as to use it to harass other officers on air. Just an odd possibility.

Is racism dead in the NHPD? I doubt it, but I would not say it is rampant, and the few that practice this are quite subtle in how they practice within the organization. And it is not restricted to any one group of people; it crosses races, sexes, religious beliefs, and individuals of various sexual preferences.

posted by: NewHavenTaxTooHigh on April 30, 2014  8:48pm

I wonder if we’ll get an apology from attorney John Williams.

posted by: robn on May 1, 2014  11:27pm

Identification signals are totally racist.