On Friday, Mayor Segarra announced that what he calls an “independent task force” has been created to review the fire department. This task force includes former fire chiefs — Charles Teale, John Stewart, Nelson Carter, and Edward Casares — and current police chief, James Rovella.
Segarra’s spokesperson said the task force exists “to examine the department’s command structure, its resources, firefighter training and recruitment” and will “review state, federal and board inquiries into the death of Firefighter Kevin Bell.” Recommendations that emerge from this will be made to Segarra and Hartford Fire Department’s Chief Huertas.
The creation of this task force follows a number of HFD problems, from the death of Kevin Bell to the accidental discharge of a firearm to lieutenants brawling at a site, and more. Lots, lots more.
The most serious of those — a firefighter’s loss of life while on the job — occurred in October. Continue reading 'Investigations All Around'»
Hartford joined around 1600 other locations in protesting against Walmart today, Black Friday. Continue reading 'Black Friday: Picketing for a Living Wage at Walmart'»
Unemployment has not been a new topic of conversation in the city, but on the day of the big vote, there was a lot of talk about what might give Hartford a much-needed economic boost. Too many people struggle to provide for their basic needs, for their families.
Meanwhile, on that same day, ten individuals were arrested for doing their jobs. Continue reading 'Crackdown on Jobs'»
In an area of Downtown, beyond the parking garages and towers, is a park that sits atop the I-84 tunnel. Two of its three segments — east of Main Street and west of Trumbull Street — are nothing more than vegetation and rarely used benches. The central piece, known as Heaven, has evolved from hosting underutilized four square and basketball courts, to attracting skateboarders, graffiti artists, and others. It has been featured in skateboarding videos and magazines.
Photo by Christopher Brown
At 6:00 sharp on Wednesday, August 27, a crowd of about 60 filled the sidewalk at the corner of Albany Avenue and Main Street as organizers waited for a few more expected people to arrive for a protest against the the recent tasing and arrest of Hartford teen Luis Anglero, Jr. Within the next few minutes, the demonstrators grew to about 75 and some Hartford Police personnel had joined them. Chief James C. Rovella, flanked by uniformed officers, approached the group and spoke with organizers, indicating that they intended to walk with the group. When organizers replied that they would prefer not to have the chief and the officers in their midst, he acknowledged hearing their wishes, but stated that he was going to walk along with the group anyway.
The demonstrators walked north along the Main Street sidewalk, chanting in call-and-response style, “He posed no threat-” “-they tased him!” “Drop the charges-” “-now! now!” They crossed main street near the Clay Arsenal fire station and walked south across Albany Avenue as HPD officers held up traffic for them. They continued south on High Street to the Public Safety Complex and filed into the lobby. Continue reading 'Hartford Demonstrates Against Use of Force'»
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'»
Jillian Burgos, 14, remains missing. She was last seen by her family over one week ago at her home in the Parkville neighborhood.
Anyone with information about where she might be is asked to contact the Hartford police.
With children returning to school this week, the Hartford Police Department kicked up its traffic enforcement on Tuesday. There were three target areas, including New Britain Avenue and Newington Avenue in the city’s South West neighborhood by the Batchelder Elementary School. With police receiving several complaints of motorists passing school buses, an operation was set up in the area of Kenyon Street and Asylum Avenue, a few blocks from Classical Magnet School and Noah Webster MicroSociety Magnet School. The area of 150 Tower Avenue near the Journalism & Media Academy Magnet School was the third location receiving special attention.
The HPD Traffic Division issued 70 tickets for speeding infractions, two for cell phone use, and one for a motorist passing a stopped school bus. The north operation had an additional 15 motor vehicle and several parking tickets issued, along with one motor vehicle arrest and one criminal arrest.
art by Ricardo Levins Morales
Last week an 18-year-old male was tased by a member of the Hartford Police Department outside of a mini-mart in the Clay-Arsenal neighborhood.
On Wednesday, August 27th, community activists will gather at Albany Avenue and Main Street to protest, beginning at 6pm.
Cornell Lewis says, “We want to talk about what happened to this young man in Hartford, excessive use of force by the police, and brutality all over the country. What happened in Hartford is a symptom and manifestation of what is happening in New York, in Ferguson, Mo., and other places.”
Luis Anglero Jr., the man who had the stun gun used on him, spent two nights in the hospital, where he was charged with two misdemeanors. Activists are asking for those charges to be dropped and for disciplinary action to be taken against Det. Shawn Ware.
Rabbi Donna Berman, executive director of the Charter Oak Cultural Center, is among those responsible for planning Wednesday’s action. A member of Anglero’s family was present at the planning meeting and grateful to have this kind of support.
Luis Anglero, the 18-year-old who was tased on Tuesday, August 19th, has been charged with breach of peace and interfering with police, both misdemeanors.
David McGuire, the staff attorney of the ACLU of Connecticut, issued a statement on the incident that occurred at Albany and Garden: “The video [posted on media sites] raises questions about why the officer in this case chose to use the Taser, and those questions demand a thorough and impartial investigation.” Continue reading 'Taser Use to Be Investigated'»