Connecticut police chief's teen daughter told friend she would shoot Blacks, her mom's students plan walkout
NAUGATUCK, CONNECTICUT: Multiple investigations have been opened after racist comments made by the teenage daughter of Naugatuck Police Chief, Steve Hunt, emerged on social media prompting public condemnations and an apology statement from Hunt and his wife, Johnna Minicucci Hunt, who is the vice principal of Naugatuck High School, where students are planning a walkout on Tuesday, January 26, in response to the posts.
The Snapchat posts sent to the teen's former friend, Jake Stankiewicz, were made public by the latter after he came across them in his iCloud backup. In one post, the teen — then 13 or 14 years old — wrote, “I’ll make my dad drive with lights and sirens and if we see any Black people we will shoot them." In another, the teen had written, "My dad is now officially police chief so that means he’s more advanced in shooting Black people then he was just a couple minutes ago." Both messages appeared alongside blurred images of Hunt's daughter.
Stankiewicz told WSFB that he believes the messages were shared as a joke, saying, "They were sent to me, I had screenshotted them and was told to delete them as I did, but they were backed [up] into my iCloud, which I discovered yesterday." He added, "I just hope people in positions of power are more accountable for their actions and we can do something to combat the rampant racism everywhere."
A joint statement by Naugatuck Mayor N Warren Hess, Police Commission Chairman Ralph Roper Jr., and Naugatuck Deputy Police Chief C. Colin McAllister condemned the posts, stating, "The comments attributed to a member of Police Chief Steven Hunt’s family are disgusting and totally inappropriate." Hunt had not been placed on leave or suspended as of early Monday as the investigations continue, according to The New York Post.
Hunt and his wife also released an open letter in which they said they "sincerely apologize" to anyone offended or hurt by the hateful comments that circulated. In the letter, the Hunts write, "We condemn the comments made in these messages. In no way, shape or form do they reflect our hearts, minds or the love we have for all our neighbors in this inclusive community. These words do not represent the words spoken in our home or the values and lessons we have taught our children."
The letter also stated, "On behalf of our family, we sincerely apologize to all those who were hurt by this. We are left, however, as parents of a scared, regretful child who has and will continue to suffer the consequences of her poor and inexcusable actions. While we fully intend to hold our daughter accountable for her mistakes, we will continue to offer her the same unconditional love any parent would show a child who has erred but showed remorse."
The students of Naugatuck High School are planning to walk out of class in response to the racist social media posts, on Tuesday, January 26, according to WTNH. In addition to Tuesday’s walkout, after school on Wednesday, students and citizens plan to meet at the front of the building and then march to the green, where a rally will be held.