21 Aug 2014
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New Canaan Police Face Discrimination Complaint

A town woman says police harassed her during a 2009 traffic stop.

New Canaan Police Face Discrimination Complaint

Saying she was targeted as an African-American and then denied her rights, a town woman has filed a discrimination complaint against the , according to documents obtained by Patch.

Shawn Soljour, 45, said in a complaint filed Dec. 12 with the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities or "CHRO" that she was stopped two-and-a-half years ago and ticketed for allegedly running a red light. Soljour, who works in the town's , said in her complaint that she was "subjected to racial profiling and a false arrest" due to her sex, race and color.

"I am a black African American female who was stopped and issued summons ... on or about August 15, 2009," the complaint says. "The officer involved, Officer [James] Kim, asserted that I had failed to obey a red light ... This was not true and when I attempted to file a bias complaint with the respondent, Lt. [Bill] Ferri of the respondent Police Department sided with Officer Kim and refused to allow me to file a complaint about his racially motivated police action. As a result of this action by Officer Kim, I was subject to an ongoing and continuing pattern of harassment, arrest and criminalization."

Soljour declined to comment when reached by Patch. First Selectman Rob Mallozzi declined to

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comment. New Canaan Police Chief Edward Nadriczny confirmed the department had received a letter from CHRO on Dec. 14. He declined to comment, citing the ongoing state investigation.

According to Soljour's complaint, Nadriczny admitted in a July 30 letter that Ferri "had acted improperly in his denial of the opportunity to file a timely complaint."

Soljour said in her complaint that the department's actions were "compounded" by state Superior Court in Stamford, which "initially found me not guilty and then refused to hear my evidence in a second retaliatory trial, which then subjected me to an arrest by the respondent responsible for the initial discrimination."

CHRO officials confirmed that they'd received the complaint and notified Nadriczny that he had 30 days to answer. Details of the "second retaliatory" trial Soljour referred to are unclear, and it isn't clear how the police department responded. Patch will update this article as details emerge.

[Editor's Note: The PDF attachment has been removed from this article.]

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