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Segarra, Frustrated By Violence, Says Police Could Soon Make Arrests In Recent Homicides

By Jeff Cohen

June 19, 2012

A week and a half after a violent weekend , Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra says police investigators are making inroads. WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports.

I met with Segarra in his office. I walked in as the acting police chief walked out. And here's what the mayor said about investigations into the shootings that killed two people and wounded nine others. One of the dead was a cousin of City Council President Shawn Wooden.

"I feel very comfortable that in the next days, or weeks, that we will be having some warrants and some arrests in connection with one or two of the homicides in this case."

Violent crime in the city is down. There are about half as many murders this year as last, and both the numbers of shooting incidents and shooting victims are down by about 25 percent from last year. So that's a good thing. But Segarra says that doesn't make the remaining shootings and killings any easier. After last week's violence, he again took to the streets with Acting Police Chief James Rovella. He heard complaints about a lack of jobs, a lack of faith, and a lack of community values.

"And most of all, a lot of fear. Fear from parents over their children, fear for family, fear for community, fear from the very same people who engage in that conduct and that's why they arm themselves."

And despite the fact that violent crime in the city is down, Segarra says he still feels his own sense of outrage.

"Sometimes I get really pissed at the violence, I mean really, really upset that young men and young women are willing to take each other's lives for money."

In an interview last week with WNPR, Council President Shawn Wooden spoke about his cousin -- Michael Bailey, Jr. -- who was one of those shot and killed that weekend. Wooden said he was offended by Segarra's official statements in the aftermath and said the city needed more action and fewer press releases. I asked Segarra about those remarks, but he declined to comment, saying only that Wooden -- as a relative of a victim -- was entitled to his grief.

For WNPR, I'm Jeff Cohen.

Reprinted with permission of Jeff Cohen, author of the blog Capital Region Report. To view other stories on this topic, search Capital Region Report at http://capitalregionreport.wordpress.com/.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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