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Duff should apologize to the Norwalk Police Department and his constituents

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Editor’s note: This was sent as a press release. NancyOnNorwalk sent State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25) an email giving him a chance to reply to this letter. He did not reply; therefore this is being printed as a letter to the editor.

After reading the conclusions of the Norwalk Police Department’s internal investigation into Senator Bob Duff’s allegations of mistreatment by Norwalk Police officers in July 2020, the Darien Republican Town Committee stands together with the Norwalk Republican Town Committee in calling for him to issue a public apology to both the Norwalk Police Department and his constituents.

It is clear to our organizations, based on evidence, including video footage and exhaustive testimony, that Senator Duff was intentionally dishonest in his August 20, 2020 (and subsequent) portrayals of the events that occurred at the Norwalk Police Department on July 24, 2020.  Through his exaggerations, which he promulgated in the press, on the radio and on social media, he has actively sought to undermine the credibility of his local law enforcement agency and to defame the reputations of key law enforcement officials.

It is contemptible that after waiting almost a month to come forward with his accusations, Senator Duff then delayed an official investigation by requesting that his interview not be performed before the election.  Today, it is even more upsetting to see him double down on those exaggerated claims, clearly made for personal political gain, by publicly disparaging the Chief and the credibility of the Department’s findings.

Furthermore, Senator Duff’s repeated suggestion that minority citizens might have been treated more poorly than he (falsely) claims he was, is more than simply irresponsible.  Considering the political climate both locally and nationally when the accusations were made, his comments were particularly inflammatory and dangerous, putting both Norwalk Police officers and the very community he serves at greater risk.

We recognize that the bar for elected officials has fallen so low that too many simply accept that politicians just lie.  But Senator Duff’s exaggerations and outright falsehoods in this instance have made a mockery of real injustices faced by people of color in our nation, endangered lives and threatened the safety of the very community he is supposed to represent.  For that, we should all hold him accountable.

Last summer, both Norwalk and Darien played host to Black Lives Matter protestors, fully supported by our dedicated police officers, peacefully marching in both of our towns.  Seeing one of our State Senators actively working to destroy this mutually respectful relationship between citizens and law enforcement compels us to take action and to speak up.  We will not tolerate this type of inflammatory, dangerous rhetoric from any of our elected representatives and we call on other organizations, and especially the heretofore mostly silent press, to denounce it as well.

If we truly wish to heal this nation and move forward, we must come together in both spirit and respectful dialogue.  Our elected officials must lead us in this effort.  By his own words and actions, Senator Duff has shown that he is not an honest partner in this pursuit; he would rather encourage and capitalize on division than promote unity and progress for his constituents.  For that reason, the Darien Republican Town Committee joins with the Norwalk Republican Town Committee in calling for him to issue an immediate and public apology both to the Norwalk Police Department and the citizens he serves.

Darien RTC Chairman Alexander Davidson added, “We furthermore hope that Lt. Governor Bysiewicz, in her role as President of the State Senate, as well as other political leaders in our state will urge Senator Duff to end his dangerous and divisive rhetoric at once.”

Norwalk Republican Town Committee

Darien Republican Town Committee

23 comments

Priscilla Feral February 3, 2021 at 7:58 am

State Senator Bob Duff is very much appreciated by the constituents who feel represented by his public service and considerable influence in the legislature and throughout Connecticut. That Republicans disdain his abilities and veracity are to be expected.

Mike Mushak February 3, 2021 at 9:44 am

The local Republicans have got it backwards. Instead of demanding an apology by Senator Bob Duff, it’s the Republican Party who owes all of America and the world an apology!

Over 90% of Americans on both sides of the aisle believe we need police reform to hold police more accountable, which is what Senator Bob Duff and Democrats support. They are on the right side of history and the right side of fighting for social justice to protect our community, especially our minority citizens. There is no need to apologize for that!

Even our police leadership agree we need more accountability, to weed out the bad cops which supports the good cops, who we respect and who we know are most of them. The recent arrest of two Norwalk police officers for allegedly drinking on the job and compromising public safety highlights that need. There is absolutely no argument the Republicans can make to support their position that no reform is needed. None.

The “back the blue” claim by the Republican Party has now proven to be a total fraud, like so much of their agenda of lies. There is a reason a tidal wave of smarter Republicans are leaving their corrupt party after the recent cop beatings and killings in our sacred Capitol by racist Trump supporters deceived through deliberate Republican lies and propaganda.

So instead of asking Bob Duff for an apology for doing nothing wrong, we should all be asking the Republicans for an apology for their blatant racism, lies, and corruption that have almost destroyed our democracy.

Yes, let’s start there, if you ever want to be taken seriously again.

John ONeill February 3, 2021 at 10:36 am

It comes as no surprise that Mr. Duff has failed to respond to NON. Whether you’re a constituent or news agency if there’s not a vote to gain there will not be a response.
I’m afraid Bob has become the caricature of a small town politician. That’s too bad. He once had a lot of promise. He’s like the baseball pitcher who had a dynamite fastball as a rookie but now uses a spitball to stay ahead of the competition as a washed up veteran. The sad thing is his teammates haven’t come to grips with his star falling !! You know, those teammates that blindly supported his “pitch” that a cop spit at him. In reality it wasn’t the cop spitting at him but Duff actually spitting at every cop and every taxpayer in Norwalk. While some may find my analogy humorous (I do) it’s really quite sad.

It would have been nice to have a Democrat add his or her name to the above, but guts are lacking in politics these days. That’s too bad for all of us.

Bryan Meek February 3, 2021 at 10:48 am

Then he should resign.

Sec. 53a-157b. (Formerly Sec. 53a-157). False statement: Class A misdemeanor. (a) A person is guilty of false statement when such person (1) intentionally makes a false written statement that such person does not believe to be true with the intent to mislead a public servant in the performance of such public servant’s official function, and (2) makes such statement under oath or pursuant to a form bearing notice, authorized by law, to the effect that false statements made therein are punishable.

Bryan February 3, 2021 at 11:24 am

I would suggest that members of both Republican committees spend more time talking to members of the lower income Black and Hispanic members that live in the area (Norwalk primarily, not Darien.) They certainly don’t think they’ve been treated fairly.

David Muccigrosso February 3, 2021 at 12:14 pm

How about, not until the NPD apologizes for defrauding the taxpayers of overtime and cleans house of the obvious rampant corruption and dereliction of duty, FIRST?

The RTCs should be ashamed of themselves. Real fiscal and social conservatives would insist on the highest standards of accountability from the public “protectors” they cherish so much.

Liz February 3, 2021 at 12:35 pm

Bob Duff is all talk and his actions have harmed and divided this community and put so much pressure on first responders. He is corrupt and should be drummed out of office. His power has gone to his head. I used to respect him and in fact, campaign for him. I now regret any association I ever had with him. He has been abusive to the police department and should never have been reelected. I changed parties because of his actions. BOB get a clue, you don’t deserve to be in office.

Isabelle Hargrove February 3, 2021 at 2:12 pm

@Bryan
I am just not sure how lying about the police helps that cause. On the contrary, it hurts it. What is needed is honest dialogue and a desire for real solutions. Political stunts such as the one Senator Duff got caught with tear communities apart and put police and residents at risk. No one should be defending that type of dishonest and self-serving behavior.

Peter Torrano February 3, 2021 at 7:54 pm

Ms. Feral, respectfully I ask if you would be kind enough to list some of the acts done by Bob Duff that have benefited his constituents. I’m curious to know what they might be.

John ONeill February 3, 2021 at 10:21 pm

@Mike — My wife tells me I have difficulty processing thoughts that don’t make sense to me. Hence, if you can help explain to me (consider me very simple and ignorant) how in the world after seeing the video and Duffs interview, that an objective intelligent well meaning Norwalker can not demand an apology? I get that you hate Trumpettes, but that shouldn’t cloud your view on right and wrong locally. If Bob robbed a bank managed by a Republican would that be okay in your eyes?
Yes, I’m a Republican but that doesn’t mean I dine with the Devil..

M Murray February 4, 2021 at 6:22 am

Duff supporters can deflect from the main issue all they want, but the fact remains that the video proves that he lied and made false and misleading allegations against the Norwalk Police, and it was all caught on video. For that he should apologize. Now he can attempt to minimize his deception by saying that his perception of what was occurring was wrong or it “seemed to him” like the officer was attempting to spit at him or he “thought “ they were “going to” surround his car” and then no one can prove his intent to falsely accuse the police and he can escape “politician accountability”, but the fact remains that the video shows that what he said occurred was greatly exaggerated. For that he owes the police an apology.

Beeno February 4, 2021 at 7:41 am

The apology is way over due. Anyone watching the released videos knows duffs version of events was inconsistent with the truth So how does anyone trust him from this point. Clean out bad representatives. He should be ashamed of himself and his need for negative attention

Peter Torrano February 4, 2021 at 9:06 am

Hey Mike, replace the word Republican with Democrat and resubmit. How’re you doing, by the way? Enjoying that snow?

John Fitzpatrick February 4, 2021 at 10:11 am

It is possible to believe both the senator’s report (that he experienced threatening behavior) and the department’s inability to document same. The “blue wall of silence” — officers refusing to report misbehavior — is a well-known phenomenon. In the absence of definitive evidence, it’s time to move on.

BAS February 4, 2021 at 11:50 am

Whether you like or dislike the norwalk police department or any police department makes no difference- Will smart democrats embrace honesty and accountability or what appears to be a well fabricated story by CT state senator Bob Duff? Integrity and truth should mean something nowadays political parties be damned.

Where Is the Evidence? February 4, 2021 at 5:53 pm

In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the police weren’t guilty of anything. I can’t determine what Bob Duff was feeling during the time he said he felt intimidated, but I have no way to know if his emotional response was warranted.

While I do believe that the blue wall of silence exists in this country, and I would never argue that people haven’t experienced it in Norwalk, it’s also possible that there was nothing to report. Also, though, the bad behavior of police officers guilty of the blue wall of silence – wherever they work – doesn’t make all police officers guilty of it. I believe a person to have good character and integrity until I have been given good reason to believe otherwise. It’s unfair and it’s also counter-productive to paint police officers (or any other group) with a broad brush of condemnation.

I haven’t taken a deep dive into the video evidence, although I did look at it, and I didn’t see anything damning in the behavior of the police officers. The admitted spitting gesture by one police officer wasn’t done anywhere near Bob Duff, but it was intended in a disrespectful way. The officer needs to be better than that. In any case, he now has a suspension on his record, which was a significant consequence for his action.

Now I suppose I should offer my statement that I am not a police officer and I don’t even know any police officers. I’m just trying to look at the facts that I can see, and I’m trying to be fair.

Mike Mushak February 4, 2021 at 8:59 pm

Hey Pete Torrano, well, if some day Democrats end up supporting white supremacy, stealing elections, pushing conspiracy theories on the floor of the House that include 9/11 never happened and Sandy Hook was staged by actors, and killing cops in the Capitol while holding Biden signs over their heads, then I guess at that point you can switch the word Republican with Democrat in my previous comment.

But until that happens, no, you as a Republican totally own this corrupt behavior . You did this. And your party owes an apology to America.

And as far as the issue at hand, any reasonable person can understand how Bob Duff felt intimidated by a crowd of angry police officers. It’s not like they were all there for an ice cream social. We all know emotions were running high that day, and pretending they weren’t is absurd and insults everyone’s intelligence. End of story. Time to move on.

The Norwalk and Darien Republicans are making fools out of themselves by obsessing over this petty nonsense instead of dealing with real issues that affect our communities, like their party’s bungled pandemic response that has led to over 450,000 deaths so far and severe economic and educational hardships that were totally preventable with competent management, or their party’s descent into white supremacy and conspiracy theories, or the lies and propaganda they helped spread that led to the historic insurrection and the beating and killing of cops in the hallways of our Capitol by people holding racist Confederate flags and Trump flags, as elected officials of both parties ran for their lives.

I guess “back the blue” for Republicans is conditional depending on when they are needed for their opportunistic political benefit, but then they are expendable when for example if they are standing in the way of an attempt to overthrow our government.

I hope the police are paying attention, because just as I predicted on this site last year, the Republicans would throw them under the bus faster than you can say “Donald J. Trump.”

John ONeill February 4, 2021 at 10:31 pm

I for one will not let this go until Bob Duff apologizes for spitting in the face of every cop and every taxpayer in Norwalk. I don’t care how bitter some are with National politics. THIS is local and we need to remember what emotions were like when Duff made these accusations. For those condemning Trump on January 6th (rightly so by the way) Duff’s comments and actions in August /September were not much different. Just aimed at a different audience. I’m happy that audience didn’t necessarily take the bait…Maybe Mayor Rilling and Chief K can take a bow for that. Their approach to community certainly has paid off this summer. So Thank You to both of them..I can’t say the same for some others.

Constitution State February 5, 2021 at 7:12 am

Let’s go to the video tape! Everything written here in defense of Duff is merely a diversion from the matter at hand. The Darien & Norwalk RTC’s letter specifically called for an apology for Duff’s disproven allegations and nothing else. This is not about Trump, Republicans, conspiracy theories or anything else. Try to stay on topic. Duff lied.

Peter Torrano February 5, 2021 at 7:24 am

Hey Mike, been awhile but I see some things have not changed. For you my friend it’s this simple: Republicans = Evil, Dems = Godly. So, the party of Jim Crow, slavery, racism, George Wallace and the party who largely voted against the Civil Rights Act put forward by President Johnson, you know, the Act passed by a Republican majority are your savior, and the Republicans are all racist, homophobic, misogynistic. Well thought out, Mike. No obvious bias evident on your part. Continue to change the subject away from Duff’s failed attempt to cover his butt when he is now a proven liar. Anyway, you enjoy the snow up there and continue to support the snow-job known as Duff.

Bryan Meek February 5, 2021 at 1:24 pm

Right or wrong, it is glaringly clear that our Senator just isn’t that smart. This is a larger problem than most can imagine, but is part and parcel for why Norwalk continues to be a doormat and bank account for the corrupt cities. Bob should have emulated his hero Obama and had a beer summit. Instead he’s doubling down for whatever reason. Sad to see this is how his political career ends. I once had high hopes for him.

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