New Haven PD: Officers who used pepper spray on BLM protesters over the summer won’t be disciplined

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — New details have been revealed in a four-month-long investigation of police conduct in New Haven.

You may remember during one of the Black Lives Matter protests in May, demonstrators were pepper-sprayed after trying to push through officers to get into police headquarters.

Chief Reyes with the New Haven Police Department announced none of the officers involved in the use of force incident will be disciplined. A four-month-long investigation with internal affairs concluded all of the officers acted in line with department conduct.

The newly released bodycam video shows the moments where demonstrators were pepper-sprayed during a Black Lives Matter protest back on May 31.

“The use of pepper spray was evaluated, the entire incident was evaluated,” Chief Reyes says.

On the day in question, thousands of people flocked to New Haven for the first of many protests in response to the killing of George Floyd.

According to police, there was some intel that some of the same demonstrators who invaded and vandalized the Bridgeport Police Department would show up to New Haven.

Armed with that knowledge, Chief Reyes says that was the reason why his officers were lined in front of police headquarters when protesters arrived.

“This was the height of COVID, so we put a plan together to have a line of police officers to clearly inform the protesters that they can stay out in front of the police department, but they could not enter the police department.”

But some demonstrators were angered, saying they had every right to be in a public building, which is when New Haven police say things got dicey.

“At one point during the interaction with protesters, the protesters attempted to force their way inside the police department.”

That’s when Chief Reyes says multiple officers deployed pepper spray to control the crowd.

“We have reviewed every single aspect of this incident and our primary responsibility is to protect everyone’s rights including people that may protest against us.”

The investigation by internal affairs ending with this conclusion: “Every officer involved in the protests that day acted within the color of the law, they were professional and their behavior was consistent with the expectations of the New Haven Police Department.”

Chief Reyes also adding tonight an arrest could be forthcoming of a person who was in the crowd during those protests and allegedly threw a projectile at officers. We’re told one of them was struck in the face.

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