One-on-One

A New Haven detective brings the gangs to him, offering an open hand.

The night of Friday, June 17, 2006, was beautiful and warm as detective Al Vazquez and his partner drove through New Haven. The day’s work had been quiet, until they got a call over the radio, a disembodied voice saying a shooting had occurred in the Dwight neighborhood west of downtown. When he arrived at the scene, Vazquez was shocked to find EMTs wheeling a little black girl on a gurney. He watched as a paramedic hunched over her, vigorously pumping her chest. Vazquez didn’t. . . Read more
Christopher Peak
Pledging Allegiance

Gangs, drugs, violence, and the youth of New Haven.

A dangerous game. Jane Long Vanessa West, a heavyset 15-year-old from New Haven’s Newhallville neighborhood, has strings woven into her black cornrows. The strings are red, the color of the Bloods, a national drug gang with roots in California and members all over the country – including many in New Haven. West wears a red and black plastic belt, a red necklace, and two plastic buttons on her shirt, each with a picture of a young black man, and the words “Rest in Peace” in. . . Read more
Ali Weiner