A Connecticut public school employee resigned Sunday after a viral video of her spewing racist slurs at a black man by the checkout lines of a ShopRite made its way through the internet.
The woman, Corinne Terrone, can be seen in the video yelling the N-word three times and spitting twice at the recorder, an unnamed black man, who appears to be accompanied by a black woman, the New Haven Register reports. The Hamden Public School District has confirmed that she was a clerk in the central office.
The incident was filmed Friday at an East Haven ShopRite. It starts with Terrone taunting the recorder and pulling out her own phone to record, saying, “Go ahead, I will . . . . Don’t you dare talk to me that way, motherf*****r. . . . Put your hands on me, come on. Put ’em on me. Come on.”
The man, in turn, appears to knock the woman’s phone from her hand after she calls him the N-word but does not make further physical contact based on what can be seen in the video. Terrone then spits in the direction of the man before yelling, “F**k you, n****r.”
Terrone’s two young daughters, who are accompanying their mother in the video, appear scared. One woman can be seen guiding them away from their mother and toward the checkout.
Terrone called the police after the incident and can be heard saying in one of several 911-call recordings:
I was just at ShopRite with my two kids . . . . I was standing in front of the register and I said, ‘Oh [explicit word],’ and this black guy came up to me and said, ‘Are you talking to me?’ . . . . Then, he continued to get up and threaten me, so there was spitting going on back and forth, and he spit on the back of me, and I am pressing charges. Somebody better do something the f**k now because I left with my kids, which was the smart thing to do, but he was with these two fat, black [explicit word], which I will call [explicit word] because they were acting like [explicit word]. . . . My jacket is in the middle of the ShopRite parking lot because he spit on it with his dirty, disgusting, AIDS-infested [explicit word]. . . . ShopRite said I was racial profiling!
Terrone’s neighbor, a black man who declined to be identified by name, says “he’s never seen Terrone exhibit racist behavior and that his grandchildren often play with her kids,” the New Haven Register reports.
“She’s in a bad situation,” he told the register, adding, “She’s always been the sweetest woman in the world.”
Hamden school administrators filed a Department of Children and Families (DCF) because of the fact that Terrone’s two daughters were present during the incident, according to WFSB News.
The Hamden School district posted a statement that reads:
We have become aware of video footage that appears to show an employee in our district engaged in abhorrent conduct. Specifically, the video appears to show the employee repeatedly calling an African-American man the N-word in a supermarket in East Haven.
The video also appears to show the Hamden employee spitting at the aforementioned African-American male as he was walking away from the employee. It also appears that the employee’s children witnessed her conduct. Because her children were present, school administrators filed a DCF report.
While it appears as though this happened after work hours on Friday evening, the Human Resource Director contacted the employee and arranged an investigatory meeting with her. Shortly after final arrangements were made for the investigatory meeting, the employee rendered her resignation effective immediately.
East Haven Police Lt. Joseph Murgo responded to the incident in a statement, saying:
The East Haven Police Department is aware of this disturbing video and the hate speech contained in it. We are in touch with ShopRite and are looking to get a better understanding of what took place last night. At this time, we have not been contacted by anybody directly involved in this matter.
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. So far, no charges have been filed because as of [Monday] nobody has come forward as a complainant or a victim.
We are currently in consultation with the States Attorney’s Office and are awaiting the final outcome of the DCF’s investigation before we are able to explore criminal charges.
Hamden Mayor Curt B. Leng said, “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.”
Editor’s note: The 911 call was added after publication.