Beginning at 9 pm tonight, August 14, no city youngster under the age of 18 will be allowed on the streets of Hartford unless they are accompanied by a adult. The curfew will run through September 12.
Youths who are not accompanied by a parent, guardian or another adult approved by the parent or guardian will be picked up by police and taken home to their parent or guardian.
The emergency curfew and four other anti-crime measures were announced Monday morning by Mayor Eddie Perez and Police Chief Daryl Roberts following a violent weekend in which 11 people were shot in a 24-hour period.
In the most serious shooting incident, 21-year-old Ezekiel Roberts was killed and six other persons, ranging in age from 17 years to 17 months, were wounded. The shooting occurred on Main Street on Saturday following the West Indian Parade. In addition, two people were wounded early Saturday morning in a shooting on Cleveland Avenue and two more people were shot early Sunday morning on Barbour Street.
At Monday morning’s press conference, Mayor Perez said, “Let there be no doubt that this Mayor will impose whatever measures are necessary to keep the peace.”
In addition to the curfew, Hartford Police have established a “Most Watched List” of individuals who are known to “pose a threat to the safety of our city.” The list will be constantly updated and shared with the State’s Attorney’s Office. The Hartford Police and the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office will also set up a “Shooting Team” with the goal of prosecuting those committing crimes with firearms to the fullest extent of the law. Perez said he is also working with the Mayors of New Haven and Bridgeport to acquire permanent state aid in the battle against violent crime.
Perez is also calling on the State of Connecticut to increase its supervision of those persons in Hartford out of jail on bond or on probation. Perez said Ezekiel Roberts, the apparent target of Saturday’s shooting, should not have even been on the streets since he had been put on probation earlier this year and arrested by Hartford Police four times since then. “This shooting may never have happened if the State had done its job,” said Perez.
Community activist Hyacinth Yennie has long pushed for strict enforcement of Hartford’s curfew law, which is already on the books but rarely enforced until now. “It’s unfortunate that something terrible had to happen before the city finally did something,” said Yennie. “I do hope that the resources for the curfew are spread evenly through the city. Otherwise, you’re just moving the problem around, not solving it.”