New Haven mayor seeks changes after club shootings
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) -- New Haven Mayor John DeStefano has proposed several public safety changes soon after a woman was fatally shot and five other were injured in a nightclub shooting early Saturday morning.
The New Haven Register reports that DeStefano on Saturday proposed fees for nightclubs in districts where a heavy police presence is required, that police license and train private security at nightclubs, authorize the city to approve club licenses and review different liquor licenses to determine if the state should simplify the permits.
The mayor said more needs to be done to crack down on gun violence. He cited the killings of 20 children and six educators last December at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
"It's curious to me in this state we stand on our high horse and say ... `After Sandy Hook we should be banning all these assault weapons and such.' True enough," DeStefano said. "But it seems to me after these kinds of incidents, you know, look in the mirror in Connecticut and take action to save lives."
Michael Lawlor, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's undersecretary for criminal justice policy and planning, said many of DeStefano's proposals are sensible and have been proposed to the legislature. Getting the proposals passed into law could be a daunting task, he said.
"The mayor makes valid points and the governor supports them," he said. "Getting it through the legislature won't be easy."
DeStefano's term as mayor will be up before the start of next year's legislative session in February.
State Sen. Toni Harp, the Democratic candidate for New Haven mayor, said the city and club owners should reach agreement on some of DeStefano's proposals now instead of waiting for the start of the legislative session. As an example, she said an agreement can be reached with club owners on training of security officers.
"I can't imagine why they would be opposed to do that," she said.
The morning shooting at the Key Club Cabaret killed 26-year-old Erica Robinson and injured 19-year-old Amanda John, 29-year-old Jahad Brumsey, 24-year-old Nijia Ward, 34-year-old Albert Dickerson and 25-year-old Ivette Sterling.
Police say the homicide was the fourth club-related killing this year.
Police Chief Dean Esserman said the crime has been captured on video.
"This investigation is moving very rapidly," he said.