Black leaders demand change in Bridgeport Police Department
Reverend D. Stanley Lord, head of the Greater Bridgeport NAACP, was joined by other local Black leaders to demand change in the Bridgeport Police Department.
The calls for action come after the investigations into the recent deaths of Lauren Smith-Fields and Brenda Lee Rawls.
"Apparent disregard for the civil rights of these Black women is a gross disservice to their families and the community at large," says Lord.
State leaders also weighed in on the matter.
"People deserve to have done what is right and what is fair. Not a cover up and then a Band-Aid after the cover-up," added State Representative Charles Stallworth.
The Greater Bridgeport NAACP says it is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Bridgeport Police Department.
Pastor William McCullough, head of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Greater Bridgeport says, "This needs to change. There's a need for new leadership not only in the police department, I'm going to put it on record, but in the entire city needs to be overhauled till it looks like the people it represents."
News 12 Connecticut asked these local leaders about Mayor Joe Gamin's decision to put two Bridgeport police detectives on administrative leave after the way they handled the investigations into the deaths of those two women.
"I think a little bit too late to come out all of the sudden," Lord said.
"To be genuine is to come out and first of all acknowledge the mistake that was made," says Stallworth.
The leaders say it is up to Ganim to conduct a national search to hire the right person to lead the city's police department.
"It's about race and we need to fix it and we need to fix it now," says McCullough.
News 12 Connecticut reached out to Mayor Joe Ganim's office for comment but has not heard back.
Click here for the full statement from the Greater Bridgeport NAACP.