NEW HAVEN – Gangbangers be warned. If you kill someone the feds are coming after your whole crew.
Project Longevity was launched in New Haven and will soon be implemented in Bridgeport, Hartford and later go statewide.
Photo: U. S. Attorney General Eric Holder joins federal, state and city authorities in launching Project Longevity, a joint effort to stem gun violence in CT. Photo Credit: Jocelyne Hudson-Brown
U. S. Attorney General Eric Holder joined Gov. Malloy, Sen. Blumenthal the mayors of New Haven, Hartford and Bridgeport as well as a host of federal, state and city officials along with community activists saying “We’re opening a new chapter in the fight against violent crime… I’m here to pledge the Justice Department’s strong support”. The FBI, DEA, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Marshals Service are working the Project Longevity effort.
Gov. Malloy acknowledged that overall crime has gone down in CT. Although he stated “Gun violence in our major cities is unacceptably high. Last year 94 out of 129 homicides were committed in our major cities of Bridgeport, Hartford or New Haven. Almost all involving guns, almost all involving men of color. As a result we are losing young people.”
In New Haven there are about 19 active gangs. Many individuals were “called-in” to sit down with police who informed them that their entire group would be held accountable if one of them commits a murder. There will be stiff penalties to pay, everyone is going down.
In the past New Haven Mayor John DeStefano has been opposed to federal intervention to curb gun violence. He says does not view Project Longevity as a federal intervention. Instead he considers it a “Community wide effort that involves law enforcement partners.”
DeStefano says Project Longevity will “Directly engage folks who are practicing violence, offer them a choice. If the choice is a positive one it will turn them away from a life of violence. If it is a negative one they become the focus of federal prosecution and be removed from the streets.”
NAACP CT President Scott X. Exdaile is a bit concerned that there were no “Young people at the press conference to buy into it. 100 percent of the violence is among young people, 100 percent of the people here are adults. If the young people don’t buy into it what kind of results are you going to get?”
Project Longevity will make resources available for those who want to leave gang life and the violence it brings behind. (Need contact information, will have Thursday a.m.). New Haven educator Alicia Caraballo, whose 24-year-old son was murdered, said his killer “Got 100 years. He will never leave prison. He will live and die in jail. And this is what will happen to you.”
Gangbangers/Violent offenders be forewarned. The feds are here operating at full capacity and giving you their “undivided attention”’.