No matter what Hartford, CT does to refurbish its image, it will never get past all the good it has to offer, as long as there are weekends such as the one just concluded. Ten shootings, two dead – one of the victims was 16 years old – is not going to cut it on any advertizing brochure. There is no slogan that will over come the weekend bloodbath on display Saturday and Sunday. And it’s not even summer yet. What is going to happen when the weather really turns warm?
You even get the feeling the producers of the new TV series “The Second District,” which focuses on street life and police enforcement in Hartford, are feeling vindicated about their program acumen, this morning.
Mayor: “I’m hoping that this was just a bad weekend.”
Mayor Pedro Segarra was scheduled to meet with Hartford Acting Police Chief James Rovella today. “I’m hoping that this was just a bad weekend,” the mayor said. Then he reminded us that the only way the situation can really be controlled is with community cooperation. Stop me, if you haven’t heard that one before.
The community won’t cooperate out of fear; fear of retaliation. And some citizens won’t rat on the culprits for fear it will interrupt a good thing. The drug culture in Hartford, supported by a willing clientele in the suburbs, helps to underwrite a flourishing underground economy. And yet everyone turns their head. From the chatty governor, who resides in Hartford and has been suspiciously quiet about the weekend slaughter, to the mayor and the religious community, everyone goes their merry way, hoping this was just one of those weekends and pleading for the community to help.
When political leaders stop attempting to legalize illicit behavior or blame it on racial motivation, when those same leaders admit to an underground economy and seriously attempt to end it, then the violence will stop. Then and only then, will the city be able to put on display the culture and talent it has to offer. Until then, all the good, all the slogans and all the money that’s been spent to overcome a horrific image, will never match the publicity garnered from “10 Shot – 2 Dead.” “The Second District” could not ask for a better preview.