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Justice for Titasheen Mitchell Police Brutality!: Stratford rally could turn into battlefield

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Stratford rally could turn into battlefield

Stratford rally could turn into battlefield
Neal McNamara, Register Correspondent
STRATFORD — Police said Wednesday that they will increase their presence at an anti-racism rally planned for Saturday as three alleged white supremacist groups have made their presence known in town by dropping leaflets on residents’ driveways and pledging to appear at the event.

The groups are openly advertising for area white supremacists to attend the rally, which is being held in conjunction by Councilman Alvin O’Neal, D-2, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

O’Neal has advertised the rally as an informative, community-healing event that will draw attention to issues between town police and residents. Mayor James Miron and Connecticut NAACP President Scot X. Esdaile are both scheduled to speak at the rally. Neither Esdaile nor O’Neal could be reached Thursday for comment. Miron declined comment, citing what he said would be a "big announcement" regarding the rally today. He declined to say what would be announced or whether the rally would be cancelled.

Police Capt. Harvey Maxwell said that police presence at the rally would be stepped up. However, Maxwell noted that he does not expect a large contingent of white supremacists to attend the rally.

"It’s bad enough to have two groups protesting. … But two groups with different opinions makes it even more difficult," said Maxwell. "We’re going to have additional manpower."

Maxwell confirmed that white supremacy groups, who identified themselves only as the White Wolves, the Connecticut State Skinheads and North East White Pride, littered residents’ driveways on Wednesday with fliers. One resident, who lives at Cutspring Road complained to police, but Maxwell said that the handing out of the fliers in such a manner is simply littering.

"It’s like when you put fliers under car windshield wipers," said Maxwell. "It’s the same category."

An alleged white supremacist Internet radio show, called the "Captain Piddles Show," which is linked from the North East White Pride Web site, implores area white supremacists to come to Stratford Saturday.

The host, called Captain Piddles, plays hate-inspired heavy metal and in between speaks in a thick New England accent about goings-on in the white supremacy community. Piddles talks specifically about the rally in Stratford, and urges white supremacists who plan to attend to "bring baseball bats."

The rally was set up by O’Neal and residents of both Stratford and Bridgeport in response to an incident that occurred in the town’s South End on March 21. According to O’Neal, Stratford police Officer David Gugliotti used excessive force in arresting 15-year-old Titasheen Mitchell. O’Neal himself tried to intervene, and was arrested.

An Internal Affairs investigation was launched into whether Gugliotti brutalized Mitchell — O’Neal testified that he saw Gugliotti punch Mitchell in the face — but Gugliotti recently was cleared of all charges.

The Stratford Police Union has recently come out against O’Neal, demanding that he be removed from the town council.

©New Haven Register 2006


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