Police investigating black man with New York plates told to 'leave' Vermont

Police investigating black man with New York plates told to 'leave' Vermont
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Vermont State Police said they are investigating an incident after a report that a black man was told to leave the state last week while driving near his residence in Hartford. 

The man was driving in his car, which has New York license plates, with his 11-year-old son when he was flagged down by two unknown vehicles, police said in a release Wednesday. 

Police said the man stopped, “thinking someone needed assistance,” and spoke with a white man who told him he was “not wanted in Vermont and told to leave,” police said. 

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“There were significant racial undertones to the interaction,” police said, adding that the man was “in fear for the physical safety of him and his son.” 

“He was able to verbally deescalate the situation and drive home. No physical altercation occurred,” police added.

Police said state investigators do not have descriptions of the vehicles involved, but believe they may be pickup trucks. 

“People in Vermont should not have to worry about crimes motivated by hate at any time, let alone when our communities should be pulling together to face an unprecedented situation that affects all of us,” Col. Matthew T. Birmingham, director of the state police, said in the release.  

He said anyone who may have been the victim of a bias-motivated crime should report the incident for police to pursue.