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Protesters Demand Justice in New Haven

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New Haven Police said that as of 7:45 p.m., protesters left Route 34 and appeared to be headed toward the New Haven Green. 

About 150 protesters also remained on the steps of the New Haven Police Headquarters.  

Around 6 p.m., protesters blocked traffic on Route 34, according to police.

Officers formed a crowd control line in front of the police department after several protesters tried to forcibly enter the building, according to police.

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker issued a statement in response to protests happening in the city. The statement reads:

"Today New Haven has experienced more than a thousand protesters deeply frustrated by the killing of George Floyd and police brutality. People are understandably angry and want action. I do, too. Currently, protesters are outside of the Police Department and on Route 34. I’m glad to share that so far, the protest has been mostly peaceful, and the New Haven Police Department has shown great restraint. I stand with the residents of New Haven and the New Haven Police to speak out against police brutality. What happened to George Floyd and what has happened to many others must stop. Chief Reyes and I have been abundantly clear about our expectations, that our officers work with compassion, that our officers don’t over-police our neighborhoods, that our officers embody the spirit of real community policing. We’ve also been clear that if there is any complaint of misconduct, we will investigate and hold any officers accountable. I also stand ready to talk collaboratively with the protesters and the community at large to better understand, to listen and to begin to address racism. I hope you stand ready, too. But we must have these conversations respectfully, collaboratively, and peacefully. Otherwise we can’t be successful. I urge New Haven residents with all my heart to be open to these conversations and to protest but do it peacefully. We will get through this very challenging time."

Video Shows Protesters Being Pepper-Sprayed By Police

The following video shows protesters in New Haven being pepper-sprayed by officers while trying to enter the police station earlier today.

Hamden Town Councilor Justin Farmer said he was one of the people who was sprayed.

“It was a split second. I was there in the front. Didn’t see anything. Then they started to spray. And police started moving in with riot shields and then they were trying to move us down the stairs," Farmer said.

New Haven Police Captain Anthony Duff said there was a "skirmish at the main entrance [of the police department] as officers pushed back protesters who were attempting to forcibly enter the building."

Multiple rallies across Connecticut are pushing for change and are calling for justice following the death of George Floyd and protesters have closed down several highways throughout the state on Sunday.

This afternoon around 1:15 p.m., New Haven Police said they responded to protesters blocking motor vehicle traffic at the merge of I-95, I-91 and the Oak Street Connector. Police said highway traffic was blocked until about 2:45 p.m.

Several hundred protesters then gathered and remain in the street and on the steps of New Haven Police Headquarters at 1 Union Avenue.

In New Haven, there was a peaceful demonstration entitled #WeCantBreathe. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in front of City Hall.

Officers are on scene and detouring all car traffic in the area of the police station.  Drivers are advised to avoid the area.

The rallies and protests come less than a week after the death of Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white officer knelt on his neck in Minnesota.

A video that showed Floyd, 46, begging for air as a police officer was seen kneeling on his neck has sparked outrage and protests across the country.

That officer, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified New Haven Police Captain Anthony Duff's rank.

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