New Haven leaders respond to unrest, protest in the Elm City

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Demonstrations continue throughout the state as protesters march in outrage over the death of George Floyd.

RELATED: Protesters block I-84 in Hartford, lie down on roadway in tribute to George Floyd

Protesters over the weekend marched through the streets of New Haven and shut down a portion of Interstate 95 for part of the afternoon on Sunday.

City leaders said the time is now to take action and not only denounce racism but take tangible steps towards healing the racial divide and distrust between communities of color and law enforcement.

“It’s not enough to say we don’t tolerate it but we must understand what our role is to stop it…So we’re committed to justice, even if that injustice speaking out against that injustice is at the hands of police,” said Chief Otoniel Reyes from the New Haven Police Department. 

Mayor Justin Elicker said he is committed to change in New Haven, and the first change comes with working towards a civilian review board in the Elm City to ensure nothing like what happened to Floyd in Minneapolis happens in New Haven.

“I don’t know what it is to be black or brown,” Elicker said. “I don’t know what it’s like to drive around and worry if I get pulled over, am I gonna get shot? But I care, and I’m deeply committed to doing the right thing, to addressing police brutality and systematic racism, and I’m listening and while there are many things we need to do, there are several actions that I plan on taking.”

Reyes said his department is committed helping the community get through this period of outrage and unrest.

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