Shelter Island ‘Zoom Bombing’ Probed

Five faces on laptop screen during video conference
Zoom is making a comeback. Getty Images

Shelter Island Town Police are investigating a Zoom bombing — participants sharing offensive images or comments during virtual meetings held online — that occurred during the town’s latest Water Advisory Committee meeting held on Monday, February 28.

During the committee’s meeting — the agenda for which included status reports on water levels, water districts and Fresh Pond, among other issues — an unidentified participant screen-shared two images and a video that were deemed offensive.

“The contents of the video and images were disturbing and potentially illegal,” police said in a statement. 

The incident comes after Southold Town Police recently investigated a pair of racist Zoom bombings during a Southold Town Board Zoom meeting. The issue is not unique to the East End, as many local government meetings have experienced similar activity over the past two years, since meetings were largely held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I will not comment on the nature of imagery and associated verbal harassment other than to say that it was highly offensive, pornographic and scatalogical, and clearly intended to shock,” said Peter Grand the committee’s chairman. “The attacker obviously did not self-identify, but the offense was recorded. We quickly shifted our open meeting to email invitation only, bringing together all of our community members to continue work on important water-supply issues, with only a few minutes of disruption.”

The Shelter Island investigation is continuing. Committee members did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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