Omar Thornton's employer, his union and the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities all say there has never been a formal racism complaint against the Manchester company — from Thornton or anyone else.
State and Manchester police will not say whether Thornton's racism claims are figuring into their investigation of the shootings, which occurred early Tuesday when Thornton was confronted with video evidence he had stolen beer and was forced to resign.
Manchester police say they plan to have experts examine his cell phone, which was found in his car outside the Hartford Distributors warehouse.
His girlfriend, Kristi Hannah, said Thornton used his phone to photograph slurs and a noose scrawled in a company bathroom, though police will not say whether they are searching the phone specifically for those purported images. ...
The allegations have upset many friends and family members of the victims and the Hollander family, which owns Hartford Distributors and is well-regarded in greater Hartford.
... Some experts said Friday that, although nothing justifies Thornton's killing spree, the allegations of workplace racism should be investigated so they can either be dealt with or laid to rest.
"You have to investigate it," said employment lawyer Kelly Scott, adding that racial harassment in the workplace is often a crime.
"Any chance you have to make your workplace a better place, a safer place, you have to take it," Scott said. "If there are people who have these attitude problems or a problem dealing with other races, they should lose their jobs."
Dig 'em up and fire 'em is what I say. Shooting's not good enough for the likes of them.
Sharon Toomer, founder of the website blackandbrownnews.com, called it "an accountability issue."
"If he didn't (report harassment), that's great. He's just a nut case," she said. "If he did go and nobody did anything, then the company's hands are not clean."
Messages seeking comment about a potential investigation into Thornton's racism claims were left Friday for the Hartford State's Attorney's Office, the FBI's New Haven office, the chairman of the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, and for the president of the Connecticut NAACP.
On the federal side, a spokesman for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said the agency is barred by law from confirming or denying the existence of any discrimination investigation.
And the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which investigates whenever workplace fatalities occur, reviews compliance with federal workplace law, a spokesman said. Though it is investigating the shootings, OHSA'S jurisdiction is safety and health issues, not personnel issues, spokesman Edmund Fitzgerald said Friday.
Associated Press National Writer Jesse Washington in Philadelphia contributed to this report.
It sounds like there is zero news here, but the reporters are furiously dialing numbers of random agencies ("Hello Occupational Health and Safety Administration, wouldn't you say that white racism is bad for occupational health and safety?"), trying to keep the white racism story alive. Because that's what they are built to do. They are unstoppable white racism-sniffing out cyborgs from the future.