‘New Leads’ In Racist Graffiti, Homophobic Pamphlet Investigations


Maria Basileo

The CCSU PD is still investigating last month’s racist graffiti and homophobic pamphlets.

Kristina Vakhman, News Editor

Central Connecticut’s Police Department has “some new leads” in its investigations into the racist graffiti spray-painted onto multiple campus buildings and the homophobic pamphlets pinned in LGBTQ classrooms last month, according to CCSU Detective Densil Samuda.

“We did develop some video that will be given to the state police to see if they can enhance it,” Samuda told the Student Government Association at the organization’s meeting last week in regards to the graffiti. “We’re still investigating that.”

On the homophobic pamphlets, Samuda stated that CCSU PD has “developed suspects.”

“I have 24 hours of video I have to watch and it’s not going to get done in one day,” Samuda said. “It’s just [a matter of putting] the suspects in the video and we go from there.”

When asked whether any of the identified suspects are CCSU students, Sergeant Jerry Erwin said that CCSU PD would not be releasing that information until it’s known for sure if the offense is criminal or a matter that should be handled by the Office of Student Conduct.

“We have to remember there’s a fine line between freedom of speech, even if we don’t agree with what people are saying out there, and what is a criminal offense,” Erwin said. “If it’s not against the law, the university can handle it on a Student Conduct issue.”

He added that the investigation would take more time because of the amount of footage that officers need to go through.

Samuda reiterated the point of distinguishing criminal and non-criminal acts, explaining that even though the CCSU PD will investigate “[these offenses,] there are limitations to what [CCSU PD] can use as opposed to what can be used in a criminal investigation.”

“At the end of the day, it’s a policy violation. We’ll do all we can do to get the information to Student Conduct so that they can take it from there,” Samuda said.

At the concern that the university’s cameras are not on all the time and thus did not capture all the footage necessary for evidence in both cases, Erwin assured members of the SGA that “every single camera on this campus is running, recording 24/7.”

“Every other day, there’s a camera audit done by our dispatchers on the third shift to ensure the camera’s recording,” Erwin elaborated.

When asked about the cameras’ placements and if more could be added, Erwin said Facilities Management decides where the cameras go around campus and stated that there is not enough money in the CCSU PD’s budget for new additions at this time.

Both officers reminded the SGA members and all CCSU students to download and make use of the LiveSafe App in cases like the graffiti and the pamphlets. Students can anonymously alert the CCSU PD of potential crimes or incidents through the app.

“It’s very important that people get involved,” Erwin said. “We have 23 officers full-staffed and we cannot do it alone.”