Connecticut Shooting: Racial Bias Caused Gunman To Snap, Family Says

Connecticut gunman Omar Thornton opened fire at the Manchester, Connecticut beer distributor company, Hartford Distributors, Tuesday, August 3, 2010.  After what was reported as a relatively calm meeting with union representative and his supervisors where he was showed a video of him stealing beer from the distributor where he worked, Thorton quietly signed a letter of resignation and headed for the door when he pulled out a gun and started firing.  In the end, Thornton killed eight people, wounded two, then turned the gun on himself.   Thorton had no history of complaints or disciplinary problems.  However, family of the gunman is alleging Thorton suffered racial harassment in a company where he said he was singled out for being black in a predominantly white work force.  Thornton had said he found a picture of a noose and a racial epithet written on a bathroom wall. Union and company officials say Thornton never complained of harassment and say there have never been reports of racial discrimination at the company.  MSNBC Article.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.  It is unlawful to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of his/her race or color in regard to hiring, termination, promotion, compensation, job training, or any other term, condition, or privilege of employment.  Title VII also prohibits employment decisions based on stereotypes and assumptions about abilities, traits, or the performance of individuals of certain racial groups.  Title VII prohibits both intentional discrimination and neutral job policies that disproportionately exclude minorities and that are not job related. Please visit the EEOC’s website for further information:

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