North Haven police, CT NAACP, respond to controversial Facebook post

(Image: Facebook / North Haven Police Department)

NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — After several people reached out to News 8 on social media about a controversial post on the North Haven Police Department Facebook page, both the department and the Connecticut NAACP have responded.

Last Sunday night (January 14) at 9:15 p.m., the North Haven Police Department posted the following message on their Facebook page encouraging people to lock their homes and cars as part of the #9pmroutine campaign.

2018 01 19 north haven pd screenshot North Haven police, CT NAACP, respond to controversial Facebook post
(Image: Facebook / North Haven Police Department)

The message reads: “All fans of HBO’s “THE WIRE” know that when OMAR comes by, you better be all locked up. Lock your cars, and homes. #9pmroutine.”

The post was also brought to the attention of the Connecticut NAACP, which issued this reaction:

This is deplorable and totally unacceptable, and the North Haven Police Department should be ashamed of themselves. This is why it’s imperative that law enforcement has diversity amongst their upper management so these cultural insensitive incidents won’t occur. This message has deep roots of racism and it reminds me of the hoodie situation with H&M Stores.

In response to News 8’s inquiries, North Haven Police Chief of Police Thomas McLoughlin issued the following statement Friday afternoon:

Approximately five to six weeks ago, the North Haven Police Department began a nightly campaign to remind residents to lock their car doors and to properly secure their car keys and key fobs. Identified on the department’s web-page as “#9pmroutine”, TV and movie celebrities, popular people in the news, including Santa Claus, were depicted in the nightly Facebook postings.

On January 14, 2018, Omar Devone Little, the fictional character of the HBO series The Wire was the celebrity posted with a caption that read; “Fans of HBO’s The Wire know that when OMAR is coming your doors better be locked. #9pmroutine.”

Evidently, some individuals perceived that this posting was racist and they had anonymously complained to the Town’s First Selectman and WTNH News and requested the posting be removed.

The North Haven Police Department does not believe this posting was racist and it would not have allowed any” #9pmroutine” posting if it was in anyway racist, or if it was felt that the posting would be offensive to anyone. The intent of this posting was simply to use a popular TV personality, “Omar Little of The Wire” to get our nightly message out to the community.

In an effort to ease the concerns of the complainants, the Omar posting was removed from the department’ web-page this morning (January 19, 2018).

Please continue to follow our “#9pmroutine” postings on our Facebook and Twitter pages.