New Haven mayor responds to ‘hate crime’ report

NEW HAVEN, Ind. (WANE) After a New Haven boy was brutally beaten earlier this month in an incident characterized by some as a hate crime, New Haven Mayor Terry McDonald said Thursday he was “deeply troubled” and pledged to provide justice.

On June 6, three boys beat 15-year-old Jason Gardner near a creek and left him nearly unconscious by the time police arrived. Gardner’s family claimed the beating was racially charged based on the language the suspects used during the incident.

In the days that followed, New Haven Police have investigated, the local NAACP chapter have gotten involved, and the details of the incident have been forwarded to the federal Department of Justice.

The following is McDonald’s full statement:

You may have heard about a serious situation that occurred on the west side of New Haven involving a young African-American teenager and Caucasian teenagers. I am deeply troubled that this has occurred in our community and would like to assure our citizens that the New Haven Police Department is actively engaged in the investigation and will be forwarding a case to the Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office upon completion of that investigation to hold those responsible accountable and to provide justice to the victim and to his family.
As the Mayor of New Haven, I want residents to know that, as a city, we value each and every person who resides in our community and makes New Haven their home. Additionally, we continue to promote the golden rule of loving others as we love ourselves. I am hurt that the reputation of our community has been tarnished by the action of a few individuals who think they can treat anyone in the manner they treated the victim of this senseless attack. I am grateful that the young man’s injuries were not serious, but I am keenly aware that emotional injuries are often more difficult to recover from than physical injuries.
Our city will not tolerate any form of racism or discrimination against any person at any time. New Haven is an inclusive city where all people have the right to be secure in their person, property, home, work place and in the general public. We reject discrimination in all of its forms and we will continue to build and promote New Haven as an inclusive city, where everyone is welcome and a place we can all call home. My office is always available to address needs and concerns of all of our residents.”