ESPN baseball analyst and former Major League Baseball player Doug Glanville says police racially profiled him in the driveway of his Hartford home, but West Hartford police call the incident a misunderstanding.
It happened while Glanville was digging out his driveway after a storm on Feb. 18.
Police said that, at the time, they were looking for a black man in his 40s wearing a brown jacket and carrying a snow shovel. A West Hartford resident told police the man had knocked on her neighbor’s door and said the neighbors had previous issues with a man asking for money to shovel.
The man was spotted heading east on Fern Street, then crossed into Hartford at Prospect Avenue. This led police to the area of Glanville’s home.
According to police, the responding officer approached Glanville to ask if he had been “seeking work shoveling driveways” and left when Glanville said he had not. The actual man in question turned up at the intersection of South Highland Street and Farmington Avenue in West Hartford and was given a verbal warning.
Glanville said he was offended by the encounter.
“A police officer from West Hartford had pulled up across the street, exited his vehicle, and begun walking in my direction. I noted the strangeness of his being in Hartford—an entirely separate town with its own police force—so I thought he needed help,” Glanville wrote in an essay posted on his Web site. “He approached me with purpose, and then, without any introduction or explanation he asked, ‘So, you trying to make a few extra bucks, shoveling people’s driveways around here?’”
Glanville explained that he decided against identifying himself to the officer and instead explained the home was his own.
“The more I talked, the more senseless it seemed that I was even answering the question. But I knew I wouldn’t be smiling anymore that day,” he wrote. “After a few minutes, [the officer] headed back to his vehicle. He offered no apology, just an empty encouragement to enjoy my shoveling. And then he was gone.”
West Hartford police sent out the following statement Tuesday in a news release from Lt. Ted J. Stoneburner:
“While the officer’s actions in searching for the suspicious party were completely appropriate, we wish he had taken the extra time to introduce himself to Mr. Glanville and to explain the purpose of the question. We have discussed this with the officer and will work to remind all of our officers of the importance of good interpersonal skills and taking time, when practical, to explain their actions.”
Police said the chief has been in regular contact with Glanville since the incident was reported.
Glanville played for the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies between 1996 and 2004 and now works as an MLB analyst at ESPN in Bristol, according to his site.