Protesters upset about Wooster Square clashes over statue confront New Haven mayor

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Tense moments in Wooster Square Friday after the removal of the Christopher Columbus statue this week.

People in support of removing the Elm City’s Columbus statue said they were not impressed with New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker commending the police for how they handled the protests, which turned violent Wednesday.

RELATED CONTENT: Crews remove Christopher Columbus statue in New Haven after protesters, counter-protesters clash

On Friday afternoon, a crowd confronted Elicker about racial tension in New Haven.

One person asked Elicker, “I’m still watching the police kill my friends. Every mayor has said there is going to be a change. Where is it?”

One man said a pro-statue protester assaulted him and claimed police did nothing to help him. The crowd asked why police did not arrest the protester who attacked the man, and Elicker said officials are “looking into it.”

Early Wednesday morning, Italian-Americans made their way to Wooster Square, calling for Columbus to remain at his post. Counter-protesters arrived around 9 a.m. The City’s Parks Department removed the statue later that day.

Elicker said he didn’t show up at Wooster Square Wednesday in fear of “escalating the situation.”

“I wasn’t here…I should have been here…but if someone did something wrong no matter what they look like, they should have the same penalty,” the mayor said.

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