Vermont State Police issued a statement on May 13th, saying they were investigating a possible hate-based altercation that took place in Hartford last week.
Christopher L. Brown, a Columbia University history professor was driving with his 11-year-old son through town on Friday morning. They were on route to buy a gift for Brown’s wife and the mother of his kid, when two unknown vehicles flagged them down, reports the Grio.
Brown stopped the car, thinking that the owners needed assistance with car trouble. Instead, he was met by two white men, who verbally harassed and threatened him.
“The victim, who is Black, was advised that he was not wanted in Vermont and told to leave,” the statement reads. “There were significant racial undertones to the interaction.”
Professor Brown, fearing for the safety of his child, managed to exit the situation and drive away without engaging in a physical confrontation.
In his statement to the police, Prof. Brown notes that his vehicle had New York plates, which could be the thing that caught the attention of the men. New York is the other residence of the Brown family, but they moved to their Vermont home after schools had been closed due to the pandemic.
Vermont Governor Phil Scott claims that he personally spoke with Prof. Brown. “I want to be very clear,” Scott said in his interview with MyNBC5, “I have no tolerance for this kind of thing. It’s unacceptable. It does not represent my views or who I believe we are as a state.”
The incident is currently being investigated, as the authorities search for the men who flagged Christopher Brown’s car.