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‘Hate crime packet’ sent to Middletown superintendent under investigation

By Rob Polansky

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    MIDDLETOWN, Connecticut (WFSB) — What was interpreted as a threatening and hateful letter was mailed to the home of Middletown Public Schools’ superintendent.

Superintendent Michael T. Connor called it a “hate crime packet.”

Connor posted it to his Twitter account on Feb. 25.

“Yes, racism exist in Middletown,” Connor wrote. “This hate crime ‘packet’ was sent to my home with his signature [Feb. 24]. The date is suppose to be my birthday (Jan. 29). There is history — a Confederate Flag incident four years ago. Educating for ALL is worth ‘good trouble.’”

Mayor Ben Florsheim responded on his own Facebook page.

He said that police were called to Connor’s home on Feb. 24 shortly after 8 p.m.

“The Middletown Police Department responded to the home and immediately opened an investigation into the origin and intent of the mailing,” Florsheim said. “While I cannot comment on the status of that investigation while it is ongoing, I want to reassure this community, as I have assured all parties involved, that we are taking this matter extremely seriously. I have full confidence in the investigative process underway by the Middletown Police Department and the State’s Attorney, which will determine the appropriate next steps as a criminal matter.”

Florsheim said that on Friday, he and Middletown police Chief Erik Costa were invited to a meeting with members of the Middletown Ministerial Alliance to discuss the letter, the investigation, and the path forward, not just as a criminal matter but as a community matter as well.

“I am extremely grateful for the strength and swift action by our Ministerial Alliance to partner with the City in this matter,” Florsheim said. “Middletown does not tolerate any signs of hate, intimidation, harassment or attempts at the same: when we have problems, we solve them through collaboration. Our residents, our public servants, and anyone who visits our city all have a right to feel safe and secure. We aren’t as ignorant to believe racism and biases don’t live in our community, but at the first sign we will work to address them thanks to the many strong leaders and partners working to make Middletown a better place.”

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