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Omar Thornton, the Hartford Distributors, Manchester, Ct shooting suspect was reported to be "not violent" according to his former girlfriend Kristi Hannah. She also said he was the target of racism at the workplace.
That does not in any way excuse what Omar did, but it serves as a warning sign regarding what can push a person to the edge. If it was racism that pushed Omar, then that should be studied so that such a climate is not allowed to exist in the workplace.
Reportedly offered the chance to quit or be fired from the beer distributor because he was an alleged discipline problem according to a Teamsters Union Official, 34-year-old Omar Thornton opened fire and hit eight people, seven have died and one was critically injured according to news updates.
Thornton was the last to die, and according to HLN on television, he called his mother to say "goodbye" after he shot the employees (UPDATE: CBS reports he said to his mother he "killed the five racists who were bothering" him). But how he died is still a source of conflicting reports: some say he was killed by police officers when he refused to drop his gun and others claim that Thornton turned the gun on himself.
Whatever the case, it's clear Omar Thornton snapped. His former girlfriend said he was not a violent person. While he purchased two guns, Omar Thornton had a legal gun permit, and was going to teach his girlfriend how to use guns, according to the Associated Press.
Teamsters official Christopher Roos is wrong about race
Teamsters official Christopher Roos said the shootings had nothing to do with race because Omar Thornton never filed a complaint with the union or any government agency. But what Mr. Roos didn't consider is that some people don't know where to go to file a complaint of racism.
Teamsters official Christopher Roos' statement that "it had nothing to do with race" is both cowardly and irresponsible and wrong. What's the fear in saying that it did have to do with race, when apparently it did? To avoid the chance that maybe they did something to make Omar Thornton snap? Saying that what Omar Thornton did was awful is obvious. But there's a less to be learned here that's being covered up thus far.
Thornton's girlfriend said that he, to quote the Houston Chronicle, "complained of racial harassment and said he found a picture of a noose and a racial epithet written on a bathroom wall." When that happens at work, some people don't know what to do. Perhaps that was the case with Thornton.
But obviously Thornton had also not been instructed on how to deal with race. If he were made to be a mentally stronger person, this story would not have happened. African Americans have been the victims of racism for centuries, but we're not known for killing anyone as a reaction to it. This is disturbing.
There's is much to know, still. What was the discipline problem (on HLN the allegation was theft)? Did he have any friends within the ranks of the Hartford Distributors beer distributor company? Why did he break from his girlfriend of eight months?
A very sad story of a person who went on a rampage and killed people he worked with.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/abraham/detail??blogid=95&entry_id=69320#ixzz0vafaBE00
This "person" never filed a complaint of any kind with the union or the company. He stole beer from his beer distribution job, he was a driver, and it was caught on tape. This writer needs to get his or her facts straight. What if this was a white person who shot 5 black people. The shooter would be called racist, no one would care if any harassment happened to him. This article is not helpful or informative in any way. I could say this writer is racist because they are ready to rationalize cold blooded murder based on race. I thought that was what the KKK did in the 50s. And please don't try and use a cover line like "That does not in any way excuse what Omar did"
Very One sided Journalism, Blogging, or whatever you do. 9 people are dead and the facts are not known. Your entry just incites what this country is trying to get rid of. Racism.Is it just me or does this blog seem like one giant, pre-emptive excuse for someone who just murdered 9 people?
Don't go writing things on conjecture, Zennie. You ask "What's the fear in saying that it did have to do with race, when apparently it did?" What are you basing that on? From his relatives' statements? Why do you choose to believe them and not Roos?
So if something happens between a black person and a white person, you will automatically give more credence to the black person's perspective? I for one would wait a little more before your true colors. If there were photos of nooses and racial epitaphs, they will come out and it won't be too late to write a balanced article then.
Omar Thornton was recently asked to resign his position after he was caught on camera stealing from the distributorship. This was the straw that broke the camel's back. This morning, around 7 AM, he returned to the distributorship in Manchester, CT and opened fire, killing 9 people.
This incident immediately brings up the question of whether the company has an Employee Assistance Program, which may or may not have been able to prevent this incident.
EAP offers free or low cost services to employees of the company they contract with. Services include personal issues such as marital problems, adoptions, etc.; workplace issues such as employee relations, work hours, etc; legal issues; financial issues and just about anything in between.
Mr. Thornton was a perfect candidate for EAP services. His girlfriends mother stated in an interview that Mr. Thornton had complained of racial harassment but did not file a formal complaint. According to her, his supervisor's stated they would talk to his co-workers who were creating the hostile work environment. Unfortunately, it is now too late for that. Nine people lost their lives because this employee was disturbed and finally exploded by shooting them on the day he was to meet with management regarding allegations of his theft.
It is important for companies to realize that workplace violence is not new, nor is it rare. According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics survey, 9 % of companies with 11-49 employees have had at least one incident of workplace violence within the previous 12 months. This number is increased to 16% of companies with 50-249 employees, and 27% of companies with 250-999 employees.
Perpetrators of workplace violence include:
- Criminals - those who are not associated with the company but perpetrate the violence
- Co-workers - employees of the company who become disgruntled
- Customers/Vendors - those who are not employees but deal with the company
- Domestic violence - those who have someone such as a significant other associated with the company
Once workplace violence occurs, employers should offer stress debriefing sessions and post-traumatic counseling to those affected.
Our hearts and prayers go out to those who lost loved ones to such senseless crimes. I also urge companies to offer EAP services to employees and never underestimate the situation when approached regarding a hostile work environment.