Treasurer Denise L. Nappier issued a statement today taking offense at a Hartford police union official’s claim to WNPR’s Jeff Cohen that the parking lot where she was stopped was known to be a market for illegal drugs.

“Those innuendoes are offensive and insulting – most importantly to the people of that community, as well as to me and my work on behalf of the people of our Capitol City and our state,” said Nappier, the only black statewide elected official.

But her emailed statement offered no new details of the incident, beyond responding to suggestions that her presence in a parking lot in a black neighborhood in North End of Hartford was suspicious.

Nappier was stopped at 8:30 p.m. after a police officer checked the registration of her state-issued 2011 Crown Victoria and found it expired, which state officials have attributed to a computer mixup after she was given a new car.

She was ticketed, and the car was impounded.

Nappier, who lives in the West End of Hartford, said she had just driven a friend home to an apartment after dinner.

In her statement today, Nappier did not identify the friend, nor did she address why walked three miles to her home, rather than go to her friend’s nearby apartment and call for a ride.

“Last week’s incident can best be described as a convergence of unfortunate circumstances – nothing more,” Nappier said.

Nappier, of course, is under no obligation to prove that her presence in the parking lot was innocent.  If it was a known drug market, it undoubtedly also is a place where residents and their friends are known to park.

But today’s expression of anger is unlikely to tilt public opinion.

Nappier also contradicted a statement by the police union that she was offered a ride home, calling it “a fictitious account of my understanding of the options then before me.”

“From here on out, I intend to have the facts continue to speak for themselves, and look forward to a swift and complete resolution of these matters,” she said.

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Mark PazniokasCapitol Bureau Chief

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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