Midd officials condemn racist incident at meeting

Editor’s note: This message came from Brian R. Carpenter, chair of the Middlebury selectboard.
In the early moments of the Middlebury selectboard’s July 28 meeting, which was being conducted via Zoom, an unidentified participant hacked into a live PowerPoint presentation and scrawled a threatening phrase toward Black people using a racial slur on the screen, along with what may have been a Swastika. 
The presentation was taken down temporarily while support staff quickly changed a Zoom security setting that will prevent such an attack from occurring again. The hacker was also located and expelled from the online meeting, after which the visual presentation continued without further incident. 
We deeply regret that this racist and anti-Semitic event took place, and we will continue to pursue all measures to maintain a safe environment for public engagement. The Middlebury Police Department has opened an investigation into this deplorable incident.
For the second time in as many weeks the town has been confronted with the ugly reality of racism. These hateful expressions of inhumanity target members of communities that have for too long been victims of injustice, violence and oppression. As leaders of this community, we stand with them and with one voice denounce all such acts of intolerance and the malicious persons who commit them.

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