Numerous copies of an unsigned, racially charged letter have been circulated throughout the Bridgeport, Conn. police department this month, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
The letter obtained by the Post is printed on City of Bridgeport Department of Police letterhead. It begins with the phrase, “WHITE POWER.”
“These Black Officers belong in the toilet,” the letter reads.
Bridgeport Police Lt. Lonnie Blackwell told the Post that officers found the letters in their mailboxes this month, and Blackwell reported the incident to the police chief. According to the Post, officers believe that the letters came from within the department since the public does not have access to officers’ mailboxes.
In a Wednesday news conference, detective Harold Dimbo said that the letters were distributed to the white officers in the department for the most part, according to the Post.
“One of the letters just got into the wrong box,” Dimbo said.
Dimbo said that three other racist letters have been circulated through the Bridgeport department within the last year.
The letter singled out Officer Clive Higgins, who was acquitted of police brutality charges recently. Higgins and two other officers, Elson Morales and Joseph Lawlor, were accused of using a stun gun on a suspect while kicking and stomping on him. Morales and Lawlor both pleaded guilty to violating the suspect’s civil rights.
“The Chief promise us the White people, he doesn’t belong here,” the letter said about Higgins. “Where were you Higgins?? You better watch your back. We know where you live. Your face was all over the newspaper.”
The state police are investigating the letter, a spokesman for the City of Bridgeport told the Post.
According to the Post, the Bridgeport police department has been hit with multiple discrimination lawsuits since the 1970s. A federal judge in 1983 found that the department sent minority officers to high crime areas and excluded them from previous divisions. The judge appointed a lawyer to oversee the department and investigate discrimination claims through 2010.