CROMWELL, Conn. (WTNH) — As protests and rallies continue across Connecticut, leaders and police fear things could turn violent.
A rally in Cromwell was organized mostly by high school students. While they wanted to stand with protestors around the country and stand against racial injustice and police brutality, they also wanted to keep things peaceful and respectful. Organizers say they did get threats, however. And across the country, these marches have been plagued by people just looking to make trouble.
“We don’t mind if you’re loud and proud, but no violence because the message has to be loud and clear,” said Alexis Wadley. “We did have a couple of threats and several people disagreeing with what we’re doing and the way were doing it, but it didn’t phase us because as long as we came together as a community…look at this.”
And it is so easy to lose that message and have it drowned out by the actions of a few. Organizers in New Haven have seen that. One prominent reverend says that, by his count, one in seven protestors at recent Elm City events is not from the local community.
“You are not welcome in this city to destruct this city, to tear down the city,” said Reverend Dr. Boise Kimber, First Calvary Baptist Church.
New Haven police, as well as state police and the FBI, have been monitoring social media, keeping close tabs on who is threatening where so that they can get out ahead of any type of violence.
“We have seen some chatter online about looting, but there hasn’t been any overt action towards looting, and we have not seen it, and we hope not to,” said New Haven Police Chief Otoniel Reyes.
People in Cromwell have been working with the police and other community leaders to make sure the rallies stay safe, nonviolent and on point.