Connecticut police are on the alert as three gangs threaten to “take out” law enforcement in Baltimore, where violence has erupted over the police custody death of Freddie Gray.
Gray died of an unexplained spinal injury on April 19, and on Monday – the day of his funeral – rioting protesters in Baltimore left several officers with broken bones and knocked one unconscious.
The police department in Maryland’s largest city said it has “received credible information” that gang members have threatened the lives of officers.
“This is a credible threat. Law enforcement agencies should take appropriate precautions to ensure the safety of their officers,” Baltimore police wrote in a press release Monday afternoon.
Although it’s not clear if police in Connecticut are in imminent danger, two of the gangs in question – the Bloods and Crips – have ties to the state.
Several departments in Connecticut said they’re taking measures to keep their members safe.
“[The threat] may be credible there and not necessarily credible here. All of that said, we are on our toes,” said Officer David Hartman of the New Haven Police Department. “And it behooves us to be that way every day, every shift, with every officer, regardless of receiving some type of notice of a threat like this.”
Connecticut State Police spokesman Sgt. Shane Hassett said the department sent a bulletin out to troopers Monday informing them of the threat “for situational awareness purposes.”
Lt. James Perez of the Fairfield Police Department is calling on residents to report suspicious activity, “especially any groups that are gathering in any particular area as the public can be in danger as well.”
Hartford police said they “continually monitor information from law enforcement both locally and across the country” to make sure officers and community members stay safe, but that the focus is on “moving forward in a positive direction together with our citizens.”
“The best way to keep our officers and those we protect and serve safe is to continue to strengthen our mutual trust with our police and our community,” Deputy Chief Brian Foley said in a statement Monday night. "With the continued struggles on a national level, locally this has to be our highest priority."