Stamford Police are investigating a racially charged incident in which a white man allegedly harassed a group of five young Black men at an area marina.
The incident took place at 4 p.m. Saturday, June 20, at the Cove Island Marina in Stamford and was videotaped by numerous people, police said.
"The department would like to acknowledge that this incident is currently an active investigation," said Capt. Richard Conklin. "Numerous individuals were involved and/or witnessed circumstances leading up to the confrontation that had occurred."
The men were at the marina with a motorboat hitched to a pickup truck parked in the lot and had no plans to launch from the ramp.
The men's truck was not backed up to the ramp, and the men, one who is reportedly a Bridgeport Police Officer, seemed to be just hanging out.
The video, which was widely circulated on Instagram, shows the man yelling at the men telling them they can't launch a boat from the boat ramp and saying he was going to call the police.
After yelling, the man called the Stamford Police department and said the men were illegally planning to launch the boat and they were harassing him.
At one point in the video, the man said his name was "God" when asked by the men.
Police are also investigating claims the man pepper-sprayed one or two of the men during the confrontation.
Conklin said the department is in the process of interviewing and obtaining formal statements from all involved individuals and sourcing a complete video as evidence.
"An attorney is representing a number of the involved partied," he said. "An investigator has met with the attorney to discuss the incident and to arrange for formal statements."
Once that happens the department will present all evidence to the State Attorney's Office for review of proper criminal charges, Conklin added.
The attorney, Darnell Crosland, of Stamford, said he was pleased with the response from a wide range of society.
"This man, a white person, is a classic case of weaponizing the police by saying he was being harassed by Black men," Crosland said. "He is a racist who is exploiting the police."
On the other side, Crosland said the case highlights the current struggle by millions for "equal rights and justice afforded to all."
Police declined to name the man involved.
The department is asking anyone with information regarding the incident to contact Sgt Sean Boeger at 203-977-4417.
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