A black professor driving in Vermont with New York license plates was flagged down by two white men and told to leave the state in what police are investigating as a “bias-related incident,” a report said Thursday.
The unidentified professor was driving with his 11-year-old son last Friday in Hartford when two “unknown vehicles” approached and flagged them down around 10 a.m., NBC News reported.
The professor, who owns property in the state, told police that one of the drivers, a white man, said that “he was not wanted in Vermont and told to leave,” according to the report.
He also told police there were “significant racial undertones to the interaction,” but that he was able to deescalate the situation and drive off. The man feared for his and his son’s physical safety during the exchange, police said.
State police officials condemned the apparent hate incident.
“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 Vermont State Police, said in a statement.
Vermont’s governor, Phil Scott, said he’d spoken with the victim and added that he has “no tolerance” for hate crimes in the state, NBC reported.