The Journal Gazette
Monday, July 17, 2017 10:10 pm

Racial incident prompts New Haven to establish special commission

The city of New Haven will establish a special commission to address possible racial tensions following an incident at Cedarwood Trails mobile home park last month, Mayor Terry McDonald said Monday. 

The decision followed an open house at the New Haven Community Center where residents were invited to discuss their concerns. About a dozen people attended. 

The yet-to-be-named commission will likely be populated by representatives of East Allen County Schools, local religious leaders, the NAACP, the Urban League and others, McDonald said, adding that four people who attended Monday's discussion volunteered to participate in the commission as well. The goal of the commission is simple, McDonald added. 

"It's so people can live in harmony with one another and in peace and people of all nationalities and race and creeds can live in harmony with one another, because we're all made the same," McDonald said. "It just really is a matter of people treating people like human beings. That's really what this all boils down to, isn't it?"

Although McDonald said he wasn't surprised by the small attendance Monday, plans are in place to host another similar meeting in the future. 

Discussion about race relations in New Haven was predicated by a June 6 incident at Cedarwood Trails mobile home park, during which 15-year-old Jason Gardner was found badly beaten near a creek behind the property. Gardner told police racial slurs were used in the attack. A Stop the Hate rally was held June 17 at New Haven Municipal Hall. 

For more on this story, see Tuesday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit

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