Mother of Manchester teen killed, Farmington police officer injured on the job call for stricter juvenile laws

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MANCHESTER, Conn. (WTNH) — The family of Zaniya Wright is calling for justice after the 13-year-old was killed in Manchester in June.

While police charged a 14-year-old boy in connection to Wright’s death, her family feels more has to be done to tighten juvenile laws.

Zaniya Wright (Family provided photo)

RELATED: State Chief Medical Examiner releases cause of death of teen found dead in apartment basement in Manchester

Wright’s mother, Marissa Boose-Barrett, spoke exclusively with News 8. Boose-Barrett said she’s hoping change can happen.

Boose-Barrett doesn’t feel like they have justice yet. Following a months-long investigation, Manchester police arrested a 14-year-old boy in connection to Wright’s death. He’s facing a number of charges, including felony murder and sexual assault.

RELATED: 14-year-old boy charged with murder in strangulation death of 13-year-old Manchester girl

“You get to do all these things to my daughter and then you’re going to be walking out free, in what, 18 to 30 months? It’s just not right, it’s just not right,” Boose-Barrett said.

EXCLUSIVE: Mother of Manchester teen killed speaks out after juvenile arrested, calls for stricter juvenile laws

That’s why she believes more needs to be done to hold juvenile suspects accountable. She says now is the time to act.

Boose-Barrett is calling for stricter juvenile laws, especially after what has unfolded across the state. She’s among the many who are pushing for action as there continues to be a rise in crime involving young people.

“They need to go to the drawing board, and they need to address this. They need to look into charging these juveniles appropriately,” Boose-Barrett said.

Boose-Barrett is not alone in her calls for action. A Farmington police officer crushed against his cruiser while trying to arrest a man in a stolen car back in September said he didn’t fire his gun at the suspect because he was afraid to, based on the current laws.

“Without a doubt when the Accountability Law was put in place, it was a playbook for criminals,” said Officer James O’Donnell. “There were things mentioned in there they know we can’t do now.”

Boose-Barrett also thinks early intervention is key.

“Why are we not doing stuff before it happens, before someone has to lose their life,” Boose-Barrett said.

EXCLUSIVE: Emotional interview with mother of Manchester teen killed

Boose-Barrett hopes by taking these steps, tragedies like the one she and her family have experienced won’t happen to anyone else.

“I hope no other family has to go through this because I have to go on living without my daughter, and he gets to be out here. It’s just messed up,” Boose-Barrett said.

The teen charged in the case is currently being detained at the Hartford Juvenile Detention Center.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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