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@CPaullinNBH

BERLIN - The Berlin Police Union has released a statement regarding the investigation into racial and homophobic remarks current Police Commissioner Bob Peters was recorded saying, and a town councilor will be calling for Peters’ resignation Tuesday night.

Peters, 82, was recorded as having said he teaches “how to shoot f------ n------,” in March 2018 at a local auto shop where local residents meet informally.

The Herald published an article on Thursday reporting on the recording, in which Peters also spoke against “queers,” “aliens” and said, “We got [inaudible] guys who like to shoot f-----’ blacks.” The recording can be listened to on the homepage of newbritainherald.com.

"This week, the New Britain Herald brought to light an audio recording in which an individual is
heard making inflammatory statements of a racial and homophobic nature," the Berlin Police Union said in a statement sent to The Herald. "While opinions may vary as to the identity of the speaker, all thinking people would agree that the words spoken are ugly and reprehensible. At the same time, it is our fervent desire that the same thinking people realize that the statements made on that recording are patently absurd and in no way reflect the attitudes and values of the women and men of our organization.

"The difficulties inherent in our profession have grown over the last decade," the statement continued. "As a result, a dangerous job has become even more so. The last thing we need are the misguided rantings of an individual pretending to speak on behalf of our officers."

"According to the New Britain Herald, the Office of the State’s Attorney has opened an investigation into this matter," the statment ends with. "We have the utmost confidence that they will thoroughly, completely and impartially conduct their investigation. Until then, the citizens of the Town of Berlin and all who pass through it can rest assured that as always, our members will uphold the stated mission of the Berlin Police Department: To enforce the law and to serve the public in a fair and just manner."

Democratic Town Councilor JoAnn Angelico-Stetson said Sunday the remarks were “despicable” and “reprehensible,” and that anything that marginalized any race is a “real concern.”

She said she will “absolutely” be calling for Peters’ resignation Tuesday night during the Town Council’s meeting, and is looking forward to hearing what anyone else might say that night. 

The council meeting is at 7 p.m. in the Town Council Chambers of Town Hall, 240 Kensington Rd.

Berlin Police Sgt. Mark Soneson, vice president of the Berlin Police Union, said Sunday some Berlin police officers may be in attendance for the meeting, but nobody from the union is planning to speak as they are looking to remain objective during the investigation into the recording. Police Chief John Klett did not return a request for comment Wednesday.

Mayor Mark Kaczynski and Anne Reilly, chairperson of the Republican Town Committee, of which Peters is a member, did not immediately return requests for comment Sunday.

Last week, Kaczynski declined to comment on the remakrs saying there were too many unknowns with who had the recording and the New Britain State’s Attorney’s office declining to confirm nor deny the investigation.

Ron Davis, president of the New Britain chapter of the NAACP, said Sunday he will be sending a letter to Kaczynski calling for Peters’ resignation, and needed to speak with more people before deciding if he will be attending the meeting Tuesday. Last week, he said the comments constituted a hate came as he has become fearful to drive through Berlin now.

Peters, 82, was recorded as having said he teaches “how to shoot f------ n------,” in March 2018 at a local auto shop where local residents meet informally. 

The Herald published an article on late last week reporting on the New Britain State Attorney’s office investigating the recording, in which Peters also spoke against “queers,” “aliens” and said, “We got [inaudible] guys who like to shoot f-----’ blacks.” The recording can be listened to on the homepage of newbritainherald.com

Peters denied making the comments on Wednesday and has not returned a request for comment since.

Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or cpaullin@centralctcommunications.com.

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