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Posts Tagged ‘Violence’

This Is Why We Don’t Pay The WHPD Enough …

Posted by whforums on November 14, 2008

We’re tempted to dismiss them as random acts of violence, but the stuff that’s been keeping the WHPD busy this week is all decidedly motivated, even if we don’t necessarily understand the motivations.

First there was the brutal beating (baseball bat + hatchet) of a West Hartford homeless man. You can read about the entire strange story here (though I’d guess you pretty much know the story already). What strikes me is how easy it is to call this a “random” (though motivated) act of violence to attempt to argue to ourselves that we are not capable of doing exactly what the accused is, well, accused of doing. Which is in no way to draw sympathy away from the victim (where it belongs), but is simply to bring a note of introspection to what otherwise may seem humanly impossible in our “own skin.”

WHPD also got summoned to East Hampton this week to deal with a police standoff issue. Essentially, East Hampton police summoned Middletown police who in turn summoned West Hartford police. Why? Because we have an armored personnel carrier (did you know we had an armored personnel carrier? I’m not sure if that makes me feel more or less secure). In any case, the story ends terribly, but you can read it here if you’d like.

Mercy demands justice, justice demands mercy, etc. ….

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Posted in Crime, West Hartford, WHPD | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

So, These Oakwood Avenue Shootings

Posted by whforums on November 1, 2008

I’d be curious to hear the general town reaction to the October 19th shootings at the UAW Hall on Oakwood. You know, the “baby shower shootings” (as if a shooting on the periphery of a baby shower is worse than a shooting anywhere else).

As I read through the coverage, it seemed pretty obvious that there was a (non-organized, unconscious) desire to make the forceful, implicit argument that the violence came to West Hartford but didn’t start here — that the violence had its origin in some other town where these sorts of things happen. And at the same time, I found myself wondering, had this shooting happened a half mile down the road — in Hartford rather than in West Hartford, would it have received the same media attention? Or would it just be another “Hartford shooting?”

So let me get you started with my opinion — which you can probably smell 3 websites away. The sources of this violence are regional, folks, and it’s as much West Hartford’s problem as anyone else’s. And you know what? My guess is that, if we sorted through the news stories from 2008, we’d find a significant percentage of arrested “Hartford Residents” with West Hartford roots.

Here’s the problem. If we continue to dismiss regional violence as a non-regional problem, even if we do so implicitly — if we continue to dismiss this as a problem we can safely appropriate to a city’s limits — then we ignore that its scope, impact and origin are decidedly regional, and our dismissals only serve to perpetuate the violence and its myths. Until our thinking, even in these “belt-tightening” times, is a regional thinking, it’s going to be too easy to close our rental halls (and I don’t blame the UAW for doing that), put our fingers in our ears, and pretend that our greatest problems are our budgets and our development projects — rather than the economic segregation West Hartford (and when I write West Hartford, you better believe I’m writing “You and I”) both enacts and enables.

Posted in Crime, Hartford, Media, Regionalism, Uncategorized, West Hartford | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »