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Gov. Lamont addresses protests across CT, says we need more diversity in leadership roles


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — There is a right way and a wrong way — in theory anyway. Governor Ned Lamont said when it comes to the way he and his administration handle the ongoing protests in our state there’s the “Connecticut way.”

To make his point, the governor brought up Monday night when protestors blocked part of Interstate 84 in Hartford in both directions.

“There was a lieutenant from Troop H,” Lamont explained. “He was talking with some of the protesters, and one of them said, ‘Would you pray with me?’ And he and a number of the state police were there said, ‘We will pray with you because we are all Americans; we all decry what happened and we all want to keep the peace.’ Governor Lamont said.

“The most important thing for us to do was to maintain peace in Connecticut,” Commanding officer Stavros Mellekas added. “We didn’t want any injuries, and we wanted to resolve the situation as soon as possible. The whole situation was resolved in 33 minutes and the protesters cleared the highway.” 

The governor talked about building trust and engaging people in more peaceful ways, his confidence in municipal and state police and the idea that public health and public safety are based on trust.

When asked what his administration is doing to address what protesters are looking for, he said: “First of all, they want accountability. I’ll be working with [James] Rovella, pushing the DA, making sure that we can provide accountability [and] give you confidence that our police, state and municipal are there representing you, representing the community.”

Lamont also said roles of leadership in the state need to be more diverse.

“As you’ve heard me say before when it comes to municipal police, state police, teachers…now I’m focused on judges. We’ve got to do a better job of making sure the amazing diversity which makes Connecticut so special is represented in all these groups.”

When President Donald Trump addressed the nation’s governors on Monday, he spoke of bring in the National Guard to derail protesters. Lamont said bring in the National Guard is the last thing he wants to do, rather, he plans on keeping them on the fight against coronavirus.

RELATED: Gov. Lamont addresses Trump’s comments that governors are ‘weak’ after protests erupt over the weekend

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