Bloomfield Mayor Suzette Debatham-Brown and Police Chief Paul B. Hammick stood alongside victims Tuesday to condemn two recent racist incidents in town.
According to police, Marvyann Duncan and her 8-year-old son, Myles were shopping inside Silas Deane Pawn Shop. Marvyann Ducan told NBC Connecticut a man approached her son and began calling him racial slurs. Police say they have identified the suspect and are working on an arrest for that individual.
"This will be forever a lasting, long-lasting traumatic experience and memory for him," said Marvyann Duncan.
"My call today is for parents to have that conversation with your children to be aware of the vile and disgusting agitators that are out there and provoke you."
Silas Deane Pawn Shop released this statement in reference to the incident:
“It has recently come to my attention that a customer was followed and harassed with the use of racial slurs while shopping in our Bloomfield store. I want to make it clear that this type of behavior will not be tolerated in any of our Silas Deane Pawn locations. Had this incident been brought to our attention at the time of the incident the perpetrator would have been asked to leave and been reported to the police. We are currently working with the Bloomfield Police Department to identify the person and take proper actions. Here at Silas Deane Pawn we strongly believe in racial equality and inclusion. We strive to support our community and all of those in it."
The second case occurred on Monday night when Chazare Douglas was walking back from a candlelight vigil on Sunday. According to Douglas, 56-year-old Michael Fannon pulled up beside Douglas and began asking him for his I.D. According to Douglas, Fannon told Douglas he was a part of the neighborhood watch and proceeded to pull out a gun.
Douglas told NBC Connecticut that the suspect called the police on him just a day before the incident.
According to the police report, when questioned about the incident, Fannon told police he was trying to address a suspicious vehicle and felt threatened when Douglas approached. When police asked why he felt threatened, the police report states that Fannon said "you know how they walk with their hands in their pockets, that scared me."
The police department said Fannon was taken into custody and was charged with disorderly conduct and interfering with a police investigation.
Fannon was released on a $1,500 bond and is set to make his first court appearance later this month.
"I feel upset because I feel like he would've shot me for no reason," said Chaz Douglas. "I was just thinking that he was going to shoot me for no reason."
Barbara Frankson is Chaz's cousin and condemned the actions by the suspect.
"No black lives will be taken because there will be consequences," said Frankson. "I'm going to make sure I hold this town accountable and all of its leaders no matter what color they are."
State representatives showed up in support of the families and joined the rallying cry for justice.