Valley NAACP files formal complaint against Derby police after claims of racial profiling

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Valley NAACP President Greg Johnson announced Monday that he had filed a formal complaint against the Derby Police Department.

This complaint comes after claims of racial profiling and inappropriate comments by officers on cell phone video.

An alleged incident took place on July 3rd after the video appeared to show officers interacting with a group of mostly black teens.

Related Content: Racial profiling claims, cell phone video lead to investigation of at least 6 Derby police officers

The complaint can be read in its entirety below:

I am submitting this letter to serve as a formal complaint against the Derby, CT Police Department as it relates to the incident that occurred there on July 2018. In July of 2018, 6 Derby Police Officers were filmed in a completely inappropriate, antagonistic interchange with a group of predominantly black teenagers. The officers appeared to be racially profiling the teens as they abruptly approached them and told them to get going as they were gathered together talking. 

During the exchange between police and teens, one of the teens asked for an officer’s badge number and the officer told the teen he didn’t have to give it to him. One of the officers also told the group of teens that he could do and say whatever he wants. Another officer addressed a white teen in the group and asked the white teen why he wanted to be hanging out with “them”. 

The Derby Police Chief did initiate and investigation after the NAACP along with one of the parents filed a complaint; and after 4 months concluded that only one officer violated any type of policy/procedure. From the video footage, it seems hard to believe that there were not more concerns identified and there was no mention as to why these teens were targeted to begin with. 

What is additionally troubling is the lack of diversity on the Derby Police force and the Chief’s seemingly out of touch attitude regarding issues surrounding race and race relations. I told the chief that one of the parents didn’t feel comfortable with meeting with him alone and the chief stated he could not understand why not. With the state of minority/police tensions throughout this country, the chief’s statement gives me cause to question whether or not he could investigate and or evaluate this incident with a clear lens. 

I am asking that the Chief State’s Attorney investigate this matter further. 

Respectfully, 

Greg Johnson 

President 

Valley NAACP

At this time, the Derby Police Department has not commented on the complaint.

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