Attorney General Frey Files Civil Rights Action in Oxford County

July 16, 2020

Complaint alleges racist threats of violence

AUGUSTA - Attorney General Aaron M. Frey announced today that he has filed a civil complaint under the Maine Civil Rights Act in Oxford County Superior Court against Tyler Tripp, age 22, of Paris, for threatening violence against a 20-year-old Black woman in Norway, Maine on June 27, 2020. The complaint requests the court to order that Tripp have no contact with the victim or her family and commit no future violations of the Maine Civil Rights Act.

According to the State's complaint, on June 27, 2020, the victim was walking with a friend along Deering Street in Norway. A car drove up to the victim and her friend at a high rate of speed and the victim yelled at the car to slow down. Tripp exited the car and called the victim a racial epithet. He then threatened to hang her from a tree. He went on to say that she "deserved" to be hanged due to her race (again, using a racial epithet). Tripp later admitted to a Norway Police Officer that he had in fact made the threat.

Attorney General Frey stated: "Racist threats of violence have no place in Maine. No person should be threatened with violence due to the color of that persons skin. Defendants use of the imagery of lynching is even more abhorrent in a civil society. I will use my authority under the Civil Rights Act to stop threats of violence before they escalate into physical harm."

The Maine Civil Rights Act was enacted in 1992 and prohibits the use of violence, the threat of violence or property damage against any person motivated by that persons race, color, religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation. Any violation of an injunctive order under the act is a Class D crime, punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.

The Office of the Attorney General would like to thank the Norway Police Department for the investigation of this case and the referral to the Attorney General for enforcement under the Maine Civil Rights Act.

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