Senate candidate says police intimidated 2 campaign workers

Posted: Updated:
WOODBRIDGE -

A political candidate says Woodbridge police intimidated two of his campaign workers and that he thinks it may have been racially motivated.

Brendan Green and a fellow canvasser, who is black, were campaigning Tuesday on Oak Hill Lane for Democratic state Senate candidate Sean Grace, until a neighbor called police. When Woodbridge officers arrived, Green says they kept questioning whether the two were soliciting and even talked about arresting them for trespassing. Green says officers seemed to particularly focus on his partner.

"They were talking about whether or not they should get us for soliciting and then whether or not they should get us for trespassing, which we were doing neither," Green says.

Grace says the officers remained on scene after determining that the canvassers' actions were legal. He posted about the incident on Facebook, calling it "disturbing" with "racial undertones." The Woodbridge police chief reached out to the campaign Thursday morning and is now conducting an administrative review.

Even Grace's political opponents took to social media to demand answers from police.

Kenneth Mull is a neighbor who intervened. He says the whole incident was over in minutes.

"You have to remember, we've gotten a lot of alerts that cars have been broken into and things stolen out of cars," he says.

The first selectman issued a statement saying, "If these allegations should prove to be true, this behavior is unacceptable and appropriate action will be taken."

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