New London Community Holds Forum on Violence After 3 Homicides

There are concerns about the outbreak of violence in New London after police responded to three homicides in less than 10 days.

The people who live in the small city and run the city were behind the doors of Trinity Missionary Baptist Church Friday night to help come up with a solution. 

Travon Brown, 27, was the victim of the fatal stabbing Sunday on Grand Street.

“We all know each other. This is a ripple effect. Everyone’s going to feel this. Whether it’s the other side, or my side, my brother’s side, it’s felt. And even if you didn’t know him, it’s felt. It’s a small community,” his brother, Curtis Goodwin, said. 

Goodwin said he buried Brown Friday.

Goodwin has been a longtime anti-violence advocate and organizes the New London Youth Talent Show, which gives kids an outlet through art. He also runs a production company geared at combatting stereotypes and violence, and works for a technology company called Community Brands, where he helps to get people of color and women jobs on a global scale.

Goodwin said it’s time for this community to actually be a community.

“Nothing’s worth this. Nothing adds up to this,” he said.

New London Police feel it, too.

“Victims have been former students of mine. So I see it. I take it personal,” said New London Police Capt. Brian Wright.

Wright knew Brown when he was a D.A.R.E. and youth officer in schools.

The only way to stop the violence, according to Wright, is if the public and police work together.

There will be more patrols on Blackhall and Prest Streets because members of the community voiced concerns, but there also needs to be more programs for the city’s youth.

“I don’t know if there could necessarily be ever enough programs for young people. Which goes back to what my parents used to say to me, ‘Idle time is the devil’s time,’” Wright said.

New London Mayor Michael Passero said the city is going to be working with the social service system and faith community to address that.

“How our youth are managing their anger. Managing their response to interpersonal disputes,” Passero said.

Like Friday night at Trinity Missionary Baptist Church. At 6 p.m. members of the community had a chance to grieve and a chance to change the climate.

“How do we look at is as being an opportunity for New London to be all that it can be,” Rev. Wade Hyslop said.

He also believes there needs to be more for the kids in the community.

“We have schools that are vacant, so to speak, after-school hours. I know they have some teams that play in school, but what happens to the kid that doesn’t make the team? Does he have an outlet? That would help. We have parks around the city. Once again, you have to be a part of a team,” Hyslop said.

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