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Hamden protesters demand the firing of Devin Eaton

HAMDEN -- Protesters took to the streets of Hamden to get the attention of Mayor Curt Leng.

They linked arm and arm stopping traffic along Dixwell Avenue as they marched to Mayor Leng’s office to present a letter on behalf of Hamden residents.

The letter read aloud in the hall outside of Mayor Leng's office said in part, "Stand with Hamden residents and publicly call upon the Hamden police commission to fire Devon Eaton now."

The letter demanded that Mayor Leng hold Devin Eaton accountable.

"What they’re asking for is not anything unique. There simply asking the town to follow the procedures that it signed off and committed itself to do," said Melvin Medina Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for ACLU Connecticut.

The letter drafted with help from the ACLU CT asked Mayor Leng to hold a hearing with the police commission to review Eaton’s employment status following his felony arrest. The letter was delivered on foot by protesters stopping traffic on Dixwell Avenue for a short period of time.

"We’re not letting it go," said Laurie Sweet. "We remember and we want justice."

Section 46.3 (B) of the Hamden Police Union Collective Bargaining Agreement states that a hearing must be held within 10 working days once an employee is put on unpaid leave. Both parties can mutually agree to extend the window to 60 days if need be. After 60 days, the employee would go back to paid leave if a hearing has not occurred.

"That [Leng] has the power to call on his commission that he appointed to do the right thing and hold a hearing and fire this officer," said Rev. Jack Perkins Davidson.

The recent protests come after Eaton was charged by the New Haven State’s Attorney’s office and the Connecticut State Police with 1st-degree assault and two counts of reckless endangerment for his involvement in the April 16th officer-involved shooting in Hamden.

He was arraigned in court on Monday. He is on unpaid leave.

"State Attorney Patrick Griffin believes he has just cause to move forward with felony and misdemeanor charges. That’s enough of a reason to fire Devin Eaton," said Medina.

Last Monday, Mayor Leng announced an internal investigation would begin into the Hamden Police Department about the matter.

"We cannot change the past but we can all strive to do better each day moving forward," said Mayor Leng.

Mayor Leng was not at his office to hear the letter reading because he was out sick. He is currently reviewing the letter.

The hearing deadline is Monday. Hamden residents are hoping for answers before then.

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