Hartford anti-violence activists marched with parents and police Friday to call attention to the continuing trend of violent crime in the state’s capitol. WNPR’s Jeff Cohen reports.
The Reverend Henry Brown stands on the sidewalk looking at nearly 300 crosses of the city’s dead.
“Savion Williams, Gary Graham, Eric Forrest, Partrice Walker, Daryl Kennedy..."
“Every name from 2000 up to 2010, the cross is here. And we’re just showing folks that we’re not just whistling Dixie. We are serious ‘cause this is real. All these folks with this crosses on used to be human beings that was on this earth and alive. Now they’re gone.”
As other types of major crimes in Hartford go down, homicides don’t. Police have said that young boys and men who used to solve their fights with fists now do so with guns. Deputy Police Chief John Horvath oversees the city’s North End. He knows the pain of parents who lose their children. He also knows the frustration of the city’s police.
“It’s frustrating for the police, it frustrating for the investigators, absolutely. A big component of solving any crime is information from the community. So that’s why events like today are ways that we can further bridge the gap between the community and the police department. And try to elicit that cooperation.”
Pamela Joyner has lost a lot of lives to violence.
“My son, my brother, his best friend, and my next door neighbor’s grandson.”
“My son been gone almost two years, and his crime, his murder is still unsolved.”
“The day my son died, part of me died. I have to fight for him now ‘cause he have no voice anymore.”
The march wound its way from the city’s Clay Arsenal neighborhood, through Main Street downtown, alongside city hall, and eventually to the state capitol. Reverend Brown says the point of Friday’s march was to show that the community cares about the violence it lives with, and that it wants its state government to care, too.
For WNPR, I’m Jeff Cohen.