Police: Racist remarks interrupt Fairfield racial justice task force meeting

Photo of Tara O'Neill
A file photo of the sign outside the Fairfield, Conn., police station.

A file photo of the sign outside the Fairfield, Conn., police station.

Tara O’Neill / Hearst Connecticut Media

FAIRFIELD — A hate crime investigation is underway in town after an unknown person joined a video conference meeting Thursday night and used racist remarks to the group, according to police.

Chief Robert Kalamaras said the department learned that the person used “racial epithets and racist remarks” during a video conference meeting of the Racial Equity and Justice Task Force on Thursday night. These meetings are open to the public.

The REJTF was holding a virtual meeting with its members when the person who joined the meeting shared their screen with the rest of the participants in the video conference around 7:30 p.m., Kalamaras said.

The chief said the person’s shared screen showed images of slaves, and the person started to make racist remarks.

“Some of the racial epithets used by the individual were directed at Black members of the task force during the incident,” Kalamaras said.

He said the incident was reported and police who started an investigation. As needed, the chief said, the department will consult with state and federal law enforcement agencies.

“This is something that we take extremely seriously and will investigate to the fullest extent,” Kalamaras said. “There is no place for this type of racist behavior and language in our community and we will do everything we can to identify the person who committed this disgusting act and hold them responsible.”

The chief called the disruption of the task force’s meeting “abhorrent” and “despicable.”

He said the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information can reach the department at 203-254-4800.