By now you have all heard about the Manchester, Conn. truck driver who was caught stealing beer from the distributor where he worked and who ended up killing eight co-workers before turning a gun on himself. It happened August 3, 2010 in the morning after company officials told him to resign or face being fired, employees and authorities said.
The man, identified as Omar Thornton by police, went on the deadly rampage at Hartford Distributors, where he had worked for two years. He also wounded two people.
Thornton, 34, who was black, had complained of racial harassment and said he found a picture of a noose and a racial epithet written on a bathroom wall, the mother of his girlfriend told the Associated Press. What wasn't reported was that Thornton HAD gone to union representatives with his complaints but Teamster Jon Hollis flat-out denies any racism or noose. “This is nothing but a guy who flipped out,” Hollis said
Will Holliday, Thornton's uncle said that his nephew had been complaining to relatives that in several years he worked at Hartford Distributors he was confronted with blatant racism. Holliday said, “He had some instances of racism at the company. They were hanging nooses in the bathroom and writing stuff like that. They were singling him out because he was the only black person there in that area.”
Family members said Thornton was a quiet, hard-working man who wasn’t a violent person, but was simply pushed to the breaking point by harassment at work.
Thornton’s mother, who lives in East Hartford, said she received a phone call shortly after 7 a.m. Tuesday. It was Thornton.
She said he told her he had shot several people at the beer distribution plant where he worked, and that he planned to take his own life. She said she spent 10 minutes trying to talk to her son, pleading with him to change his mind, but she said she couldn’t. Minutes later, Thornton was dead. “He said, ‘I killed the five racists that was there bothering me,’” said Will Holliday, Thornton’s uncle. “He said, ‘That’s it. The cops are going to come in so I’m going to take care of it myself.’
There were two tragedies here, first the racism this man endured, and secondly his very inappropriate, and deadly killing spree, all of which could possibly been avoided had his cries of racism been taken more seriously.
Do you agree or disagree?