New Hartford Cook Fired, Banned From Hamilton College For Yelling Racial Slurs at Utica Woman
A New Hartford cook yelling racial slurs in a viral Facebook video has lost his job and is banned from Hamilton college.
Barry Wardell, previously worked at the college as a contract employee of the food service provided. College President David Wippman says he won't be back. "I am appalled by what is on the video. He will not work here again and has been banned from our campus effective immediately. The behavior shown on the video is an extreme violation of our community standards and will not be tolerated."
Contractors employee screening and training policies are being reviewed by the college to make sure appropriate requirements are in place.
Wippman says he plans to reach out to Jakeila Phillips. "I want her to know that racism and bigotry of any kind will not be tolerated at Hamilton College."
The food service provider of the college, Bon Appétit will also not have Wardell working for them again. "Although Bon Appétit Management Company’s usual policy is not to discuss individual personnel matters, because of the extreme and public nature of this act, we can state that the employee in question was hired in February and worked for us for one month before being placed on leave due to COVID-19," says Director of Communications Bonnie Powell. "We will take swift and appropriate action. Bon Appétit has a zero tolerance policy regarding racism. We condemn these vile comments whole-heartedly."
Jakeila Phillips posted the NSFW video on Facebook Saturday and it quickly went viral. Wardell is heard using the N-word several times, yelling "black lives don't matter" and "blacks should be slave," out a car window.
Facebook has since taken the video down for "going against community standards on hate speech." It's still available to watch on Twitter.
Utica police are looking into the incident to see if any crimes have been committed. "Regardless of the criminality of it we were disgusted and horrified by the words used," the department shared on Facebook. "It is one of the most ignorant things anyone has ever said and is not indicative of the citizens here and the city we are all proud of."
If anyone has information regarding this incident you're asked to contact the Utica Police Department at 315-223-3464.
New Hartford police investigated a similar, less volatile incident that took place a short time later. "We were called by a civilian who witnessed it in the town," investigator Allen says. "We addressed it and there are no criminal charges, but we are keeping an eye on the situation."