Mayor Esposito Defends Danbury PD in Wake of Public Outcry Over Chili’s Gun Incident
According to a press release from the Danbury Police Department, there was a shooting incident at the Chili's on Newtown Road On Saturday (3/5/22) evening.
Below is a portion of that press release:
"On Saturday, March 5, 2022, at 7:01 P.M., Danbury police officers responded to the area of 81 Newtown Rd., Chilis Restaurant, on the report of a disturbance with gunshots fired. Officers responded to the area and found that a disturbance started in the restaurant among two groups of patrons. The disturbance moved outside, and a person involved in the fight pulled a gun and fired a couple of shots. Several people fled before police arrived. No one was injured in the incident. The investigation is active and ongoing."
Before the presser came out, Danbury residents were taking to social media to voice concerns that the information took too long to be distributed to residents. They shared criticism of the city, and in some cases, the press. Some of the comments were made on the Facebook group "911: Keeping our community in the know (without drama)." Below are just some of the comments related to the Chili's incident:
Sabrina J.V - "Why is there nothing in the News Times About this?"
Donna M. - "Has there been any updates?"
Greg I. - "Unfortunately the only updates we will see are going to be on this thread. I didn't know the car theft issues here were so bad until I joined this group.'
Donna M. "Ah. I just signed up yesterday when I saw something about the shooting. Hopefully it makes the news or people add info here. Thanks."
Dina C. - "you’d still think it would’ve been on every news station. We find out when there is one shooting in like Queens. Danbury has had several lately."
Sandy C. - "because Newstimes stinks! We’re have some big cases lately and no reporting from Newstimes."
Sabrina J.V. - "I’d love to know the answer to that, too. City officials must have some good PR connections to keep allllll of this out of the paper and news. How many shootings in Danbury have there been this month? 3? And nothing is reported. We are probably, by far, one of the most dangerous cities in CT because Danbury has a huge crime rate now for being such a small city."
Candra D. - "I'm w/you on this. Danbury's crime never makes the news ever. IDK why. Ever since I was little nothing made the news or the paper. It's so wrong too, ppl should know how safe an area is."
Another woman took to Youtube, wondering aloud why she had not heard official word of the shooting.
We asked Danbury Mayor Dean Esposito about this social media criticism and he responded with the following:
"Social media is one thing but accurate information is another. You know, our police department provides us the most accurate information they can, as soon as they possibly can. A lot of of that had to do with an ongoing investigation and I think if you read up in the last couple of days how fast they've worked at bringing people to the station, interviewing big groups of people, and I think we are at the point where they're actually getting warrants for people's arrest. Social media, instant information, is good I guess, in a way. But, when you're dealing with the city of Danbury and the Police Department, we're not going to release any information that is not accurate and true to the story and true to the incident."
The Mayor continued later saying the city was already working on bringing in a communications director position to act a "go-between" for city departments, the press and the public, saying:
"The reality is, we've been speaking with the Police Chief, the Fire Chief, health department and our emergency management officer to actually provide a communications person for that."
You can hear our entire conversation about city communication with Danbury Mayor Dean Esposito in the audio file below.
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