Hamden officers join peaceful protests, look to improve trust with the community

New Haven

HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Demonstrations against racial violence stretched into multiple cities across Connecticut throughout the week. Protestors took to the streets of Hamden and for that town, it was a familiar sight.

It was a little over a year ago News 8 was were covering protests against violence perpetrated by a Hamden officer against unarmed African Americans. Now the protestors are back, and so are promises of improvement.

RELATED: Peaceful Black Lives Matter protests across CT Tuesday call out injustice following death of George Floyd

Tuesday’s march started down on the New Haven line and went up Dixwell Avenue all the way to the police headquarters. That meant they started pretty close to the spot where Hamden officer Devon Eaton fired more than a dozen shots at an unarmed black couple in a car last April. The woman was injured, the man was unharmed, but the protests went on for weeks. Yesterday’s protest march looked and sounded pretty familiar.

“There are no easy words for me to say to reassure people. The only way we can do that is by our actions. Try to build trust,” Hamden Mayor Curt Leng.

The town also built an inclusivity task force after an elementary school cast students of color as slaves in a play. The mayor added that they will look at new training, rules, and regulations for police officers in light of what happened in Minneapolis.

The Hamden Police chief added that he and his officers have worked hard to improve the relationship with the minority community in the past year. Now, he says, that goodwill has all been lost due to something out of his control that happened halfway across the country.

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