A Hamden, Connecticut public school employee resigned after she was captured on camera cursing and hurling racial slurs at a Black man in an East Haven ShopRite on Friday.
The video quickly captured the attention of Hamden and state officials who renounced the behavior of the woman, identified as Corinne Terrone, a clerk in the school board offices, NBC Connecticut reports.
In the video, the Terrone is heard repeatedly calling a Black man, who is off camera, the n-word. At one point she spits in his direction. Terrone’s two small children were present for most of the interaction.
“Sit down! Don’t you dare talk to me in front of my kids like that motherf–ker,” Terrone yells at the unidentified man.
Another man (who is white) intervened, trying to break up the argument insisting that “it’s not worth it.”
“That’s right, ’cause they’re n–gers,” Terrone continues to yell. “Because they’re f–king n–gers!”
Despite murmurs of disapproval by shoppers, Terrone insists on continuing her rant, clearly aggravating the man, who has yet to say an insulting word to her.
“Put your hands on me, come on,” Terrone taunts the man, who presumably rushed up to her after hearing the slur, but took no further action.
A woman off camera can be heard attempting to calm the Black man. It was at this point that Terrone spat on the grocery store, directly in front of the man.
“F–k you, n–ger,” she said before walking off, yelling more curse words.
After school officials became aware of the incident, the district’s Human Resource Director contacted Terrone and arranged a meeting. Terrone gave her resignation, effective immediately, shortly after the meeting was solidified, NBC Connecticut notes. As Terrone’s children witnessed the incident, school administrators also filed a report with the Department of Children and Families.
“The language the employee used in the video is in conflict with the values of the Hamden Public School System. Someone who will use that sort of language in any setting, whether public or private, is not someone we want anywhere near our children. The employee is separated from service, and we hope that her children will receive the support they need after witnessing such a traumatic event,” Hamden Public Schools said in a statement following the incident.
Terrone has not been charged in the altercation, however, East Haven Police said that they are investigating.
“We are urging any potential victims of last night’s incident to contact us so we can investigate this matter further. Speech like this has no place in today’s society and nobody deserves to be spit at or called racist names,” a spokesperson for the police department said according to the report.
As noted earlier, Terrone’s behavior drew criticism from across the state, including from officials like Hamden Mayor Curt Leng, and Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano and State Rep. Joe Zullo.
“What I saw was vile and shocking. While I am disgusted and disheartened seeing such hateful behavior, wildly unacceptable anywhere, I am thankful for the swift and effective actions taken by our school system to address this head on and make clear that hate and violence will not be tolerated,” Leng said in his statement.
“What we saw in this video is repulsive and deeply offensive and does not represent the people of East Haven or our values. The behavior is shocking and upsetting and has no place anywhere, including in our community,” the two Connecticut legislators added in a joint statement. We understand Hamden Public Schools has acted quickly to seek this employee’s resignation. East Haven police are also seeking more information and urging any potential victims or witnesses involved to come forward. Hate speech and violence will not be tolerated in our community.”