Data can be deceptive. There is a constant parade of listicles published claiming that ten places are the most dangerous, unfriendly, depressing, or whatever adjective the creators believe will get people to click. Information is powerful and when presented without care, can be wielded as a weapon, the kind that can solidify stereotypes.
This map shows arrests in Hartford from January through August 2014, using HartfordData information. All that we can definitely know from looking at this is that these are the places where people have been caught (allegedly) with one or more substances, and that it is much more common to be arrested for possession than possession-with-intent-to-sell or actual sale.
Continue reading 'Random Facts from Open Data: Substance Arrests'»
The HartfordData site has been up and operational since May– don’t let yesterday’s big announcement fool you. Real Hartford has been using it regularly for months. Over the next few weeks we will be sharing some of the more interesting finds in the database. Today features a glimpse at police activity in the larger public parks. What should be obvious is that this only reflects what was reported; if you were bitten by a loose dog and never reported it to anyone, it’s not in the database.
Some city parks — you know which ones — have reputations for being hotbeds of criminal activity. As is often the case, examining the data provides a different perspective. The vast majority of incidents in Hartford’s parks fall into three categories: drinking, animal complaints, and a cornucopia of motor vehicle-related issues.
The most common incident in Keney Park reported to the police in 2014: animal complaints. Between January 1-August 17, 2014 there were 17 reports of animals presenting some trouble or another. The next most frequent problem in Keney Park involved motor vehicles. There were three motor vehicle accidents causing damage in which the motorist evaded responsibility, another instance of a vehicular accident causing damage (but driver didn’t dodge consequences this time), one instance of a vehicle operated while the driver’s license was suspended, one accident involving the a motorist following too closely, one case of reckless driving, and one motor vehicle fire. So, where does this idea come from that Keney Park is especially dangerous? For the first eight months of the year, there was exactly one report of assault and one of a street robbery involving a knife. There were two reports of items lost or stolen during the same time. Continue reading 'Random Facts from Open Data: Police in the Parks'»
Jane Doe‘s transfer to the Pueblo Unit of the Solnit Psychiatric Center in Middletown during June — following months of being housed at York Correctional Institution, a women’s prison — might have seemed like the end of the fight, but ten people gathered outside of the Department of Children and Families headquarters on Wednesday to demand justice for the teen.
On July 12th, Jane Doe was allegedly part of an altercation involving four females. A letter issued on July 23rd by the Office of the Child Advocate states that all those girls were restrained and were described in DCF records as hitting each other and staff. Only Jane Doe was transferred to the boys’ unit of the Connecticut Juvenile Training School to be in isolation. Continue reading 'Another Rally for Jane Doe on Hudson Street'»
This weekend’s Gun Buy Back Program at the Johnson Stewart Community Center on Martin Street resulted in getting 21 pistols, 26 revolvers, three rifles, five shotguns, two derringer pistols, and one flintlock pistol out of the community. Two of those firearms had been listed as stolen in the National Crime Information Center.
Deputy Chief Brian Foley says that this was the first of many local gun buy back events in the area. Continue reading '58 Firearms Collected on Saturday'»
Nelba Márquez-Greene speaking at forum hosted by Trinity College on Thursday
“Tell the truth, shame the devil.”
Nelba Márquez-Greene explained that a woman from Glory Chapel — a church she used to attend — would say this during services.
Márquez-Greene said she was going to be doing much of that during her presentation A Professional and Personal Perspective on Trauma and Recovery at the Building a More Peaceful Connecticut: Tools, Models and Initiatives that Promote Non-Violence forum hosted by Trinity College on Thursday.
Márquez-Greene, founder of the Ana Grace Project of Klingberg Family Centers, is a clinical fellow of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. She alternated between speaking as a professional, and speaking from personal experience. Her daughter, Ana Grace, was one of the Sandy Hook shooting victims in 2012.
The Ana Grace Project’s purpose is to promote love, community, and connection for every child and family, Márquez-Greene said. Part of that is addressing trauma, which does not only appear following natural disasters or shootings, she said, but also when one experiences poverty, racism, and insecure housing. Continue reading 'Forum Discusses Models for Non-Violence'»
Ray, a veteran who served in Iraq, Guantanamo, and Afghanistan, said the United States is good about sending help overseas, but when people are “in crisis” here, they are told to wait quietly. The marine said he was injured by an IED in Afghanistan. He has ongoing medical needs, he said, and was told to get on a two month wait list for treatment here.
Besides illustrating how the system is broken, he was at Saturday’s Justice for Jane Doe Rally “on behalf” of his cousin, Jenny, who he said was murdered in Brooklyn for no reason other than being who she was, a young trans woman.
Connecticut holding “Jane Doe,” a young Latina in near-solitary confinement, was the uniting issue of the event, even if protestors disagreed about which element of her case has been most outrageous or responsible for her predicament.
Two weeks ago Governor Malloy issued a statement that Jane Doe should be moved from the adult correctional facility to another setting. Several speakers at the rally, which began in front of DCF’s Central Office on Hudson Street, said they wanted to make sure that Malloy would make good on his promises. Continue reading 'Rally for Jane Doe Outside DCF Headquarters and State Capitol'»
Gun violence conversations have increasingly focused on mental health issues, shifting the dialogue away from the realities facing our urban youth who are at risk of being exposed to gang culture and its repercussions. To bring the conversation back to these points, Connecticut Against Gun Violence (CAGV) and Project Longevity hosted a screening of Shell Shocked in an effort to raise awareness and build support for Project Longevity, a new, targeted initiative focused on eliminating group-related violence in urban neighborhoods.
Shell Shocked examines the environment that contributes to gun violence and then explores solutions that helps break the cycle of poverty and violence among urban youth. Realizing the need for a dialogue that bridged the gap between the many people and institutions impacted by violent crime, Director John Richie sought to expose the realities of living in New Orleans, where every African-American child he was working with had been touched by gun violence.
Following the screening, Richie led a panel discussion among Tiana Hercules, Project Manager of Project Longevity, Hartford; Ron Pinciaro, Executive Director of CT Against Gun Violence; Reverend Henry Brown; and Sergeant Steven Austin of the Hartford Police Department.
The panel focused largely on the role of Project Longevity in addressing violent crime in an era marked by widespread access to firearms and strong opposition to gun control efforts from pro-gun lobbyists. Longevity, the Obama Administration’s community-policing approach to prevent gun violence, sends new federal grant dollars to urban neighborhoods, targets repeat criminals who are most at-risk of being a victim or perpetrator of gun violence, and offers an ultimatum: accept a comprehensive package of social services meant to help those who wish to break the cycle of violence and gang activity – or “receive the full attention of the law” the next time any violence occurs, even if those targeted were not directly involved in the crime. Continue reading 'Project Longevity: Targeting Gun Violence in Hartford'»
Photo by Josh Blanchfield
Decades have passed since neighborhood organizations in Hartford made city leaders nervous. At one time, these once legendary community organizations took over city council meetings, worked to bring better housing conditions to city renters, and held sway over local elections. Now Hartford Areas Rally Together (HART), Asylum Hill Organizing Project (AHOP), and ONE/CHANE are long gone or husks of their former self. These once vital groups used classic, Alinsky-style neighborhood organizing to keep City Hall and other Hartford powerbrokers in check. Today we see groups like HART simply cashing checks written by powerbrokers. Community organizing that has been dormant for too long in our city. Now, a new group is rising and working to fill the void.
The John C. Clark School in Hartford’s north end has been the site of many skirmishes in recent months over the direction of school reform in the city. But from these battles a new community organization and coalition of residents and neighborhood leaders has emerged. The group, called Hartford Rising!, has grown into a multi-issue community group that just this past weekend established a Community Bill of Rights to “ensure and protect each and every Hartford citizen’s most basic needs.”
Beginning with a city-wide canvas, Hartford Rising! worked to identify key areas of concern for city residents. With nearly 3,000 doors knocked on, the group was able to Continue reading 'Rising Tide: A Community Bill of Rights'»