NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — New Haven Police Chief Otoniel Reyes and the New Haven Police Department gathered in front of its headquarters Saturday morning to take a stand against police brutality.
This comes as protests have sparked nationwide in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
We can’t stay silent. Injustice even at the hands of police is still injustice. We got to speak out, and that’s the message we’re delivering today.– New Haven Police Chief Otoneil Reyes
Two protests happened in New Haven on Friday night due to recent police brutality in Minneapolis and Connecticut.
People were visibly upset over the violent takedown of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Another major concern was Chief Otoniel Reyes’ comments in the New Haven Register about the recent uptick in violence due to inmates being let out prison.
The chief came out Friday afternoon and clarified his comments, saying the majority of people released have not been the problem, and he believes in jail decompression.
“I’m not saying we shouldn’t decompress, what I’m saying is have a plan for these individuals so that they don’t end up either being victims of crime, violent crime, or causing crime,” Reyes said.
The second protest happened outside Mayor Justin Elicker’s home. These people want the charges dropped for Richard Smith Jr, the man who was arrested after police said he shoplifted from Walmart.
Video showed him running through the store while being chased by police before being taken down by two officers. Many feel the video was violent.
They want one of the officers who took down Smith fired. The mayor tried to talk Friday, but they would not let him.
“I made an effort to try and talk to you all, and you’re refusing to talk with me, so I can’t have a dialogue if you refuse to talk with me.”