Anyone that doesn't realize that Hartford has a violence problem must really be out of touch. The unfortunate part is that everyone grows a backbone too late. In Hartford it is usually after the body is already on the way to the morgue and the TV cameras are still recording at the street corner vigils.
This posting is in no way intended to belittle the work of people like the Reverend Henry Brown. Henry serves a purpose and brings attention to the street violence in Hartford, but unfortunately when Henry's attention and prayers are focused on you, you have already met your maker (hopefully). Without Mothers United Against Violence and Rev. Browns people, there would probably be very little attention paid to homicides and violent crime on our streets
Well let me correct that last statement. Very little attention until an election is coming. Everyone wants to talk about homicides and gun violence when votes are on the line. Pedro Segarra and Luke Bronin both made a big deal out of visiting with shooting victims and homicide victims families during their last rush for votes, but that seemed to stop after election day.
There are so many reasons for homicides in any City, including Hartford. Despite the fact that Police get the large amount of blame for crime and shootings, it is only their problem after the fact to clean up the mess. I think under Chief Rovella, HPD has done their share, above and beyond, including the PAL program and other diversionary programs they have instituted
Does it seem a shame to anyone else besides me, that the initial identification of our latest homicide victim, Keon Huff was by Police officers at the scene, who according to sources familiar with the incident identified Keon from his photograph on a "wanted" flyer distributed for Keon's TIC from the Juvenile Court. A TIC or Take Into Custody Order is similar to an adult arrest warrant, but it orders Police to take the juvenile into custody and normally they are taken to Juvenile Detention at 920 Broad Street until they go before Juvenile Court Judge.
I don't know what Keon did to be the subject of a TIC order, and at this point it doesn't really matter but clearly the Juvenile Court system had already been involved and the system didn't work. DCF had been involved and clearly DCF dropped the ball. The Hartford Schools also dropped the ball and failed Keon, but it seems as though one thing that kept Keon's interest, at least temporarily was basketball and sports.
I think by all accounts, Keon had a pretty tough life. News articles seem to make no mention of a mother and father, an integral part to a child being raised properly and being able to survive, and avoid, the deadly challenges of urban streets. Luckily he had grandparents and an Aunt who eventually adopted him and tried to raise him. But even then, no one seemed to be able to answer where he was going to school, or if he was going to school.
Between the Juvenile Courts, DCF and other State agencies and the Hartford Schools, was no one paying attention? Or are there just too many Keon's out there to focus on? It is not the governments responsibility to raise children, but how do we break that cycle of children having children? It is kind of difficult for parents, and I use that term very loosely, to raise children and bestow on them the value of a good education, a good family and a good job when many of these child "teenage parents" have not experienced those same lessons in their own lives.
That is where the problem starts. Too many of these potential homicide victims are brought into the world by sperm donors. I can't call them fathers , because they aren't. A father takes responsibility for his actions and is there all the way from conception to adulthood. There to raise the life they helped start. A real father doesn't run off after the fun is over to impregnate his next egg incubator.
Unfortunately there are hundreds of children like Keon that are almost definitely born with the odds stacked against them from the start. Poverty , joblessness. poor education and failing schools, urban violence, drugs, gangs , all add up to a real problem with children born lacking the proper support structure to raise them.
And again I will ask, as I have done many times here before, Mayor Bronin, what is your plan? Standing at a vigil after a 15 year old is executed with a bullet to the head is too little too late and telling us society has failed is not a solution. Again, Mayor, what is your plan?
We need to take teenage pregnancy seriously. That is where the problem begins. We need to take drugs, gangs and gun violence seriously. It has claimed far too many victims already, many of them right here in Hartford's neighborhoods. When was the last time you have heard the Hartford Health Department of the Connecticut Department of Health addressing teenage pregnancy. What is done in our schools for education or is it just that dirty little secret we choose not to confront?
During the presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton made a campaign stop in Hartford and talked about gun violence and was surrounded by our Mayor as well as Congress people and a Senator or two. If they are going to talk about the scourge of guns on our streets, then lets now hold them accountable. Hillary didn't make it, but we should hold the politicians who were in her entourage accountable and demand they put the words they use to get votes into real action.
Hillary's campaign rally took place a few hundred feet from where Keon was executed.
Although the Federal government has shown an increased commitment to fighting crime in Hartford, it is time to ask President Trump to come through on his tough talk on combating crime and we could use the help. But then again, maybe our City's "leaders" would be too proud to accept help from a Trump Administration, but right now we can use all the help we can get as we are starting to look like the Chicago of the East as we keep racking up the homicide numbers this year so far.
It is a complex problem , and I am pretty sure I aggravated many people with this posting, but it is time to have the tough conversations and start confronting the problem head on before another Keon is executed. I think the saying goes the first step in solving a problem is to admit you have a problem. The problem will still be there after the TV cameras leave the street corner vigils unless we start doing a hell of a lot more than we are doing now.
So let's hear how as a society we are going to break this cycle and address the problem of future Keon's before it is too late for the next victim of senseless violence. Mayor Bronin and all those people that like to seek out the cameras at the vigils, give us a plan.
I think we all are waiting and listening.
Please keep your comments respectful and pertinent to the topic or I will not post them. Thanks