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Rev. Henry Brown Asks For Help From Mayor And Governor During Rally At City Hall In Hartford

STEVEN GOODE

October 20, 2009

HARTFORD - The Rev. Henry Brown has visited hundreds of homes around the city over the past several years to console grieving families who have lost loved ones to violence.

On Monday, Brown's tone switched from comforting to adversarial as he stood at the steps of city hall and publicly called for Mayor Eddie A. Perez, Gov. M. Jodi Rell and other officials to take action to end a wave of violence that has resulted in 30 homicides in the city this year.

"The message is going out. We are tired and we don't want no more killing in our city," Brown said into a bullhorn. "We want our leaders to do their jobs."

Brown was joined by about 24 supporters, including members of Mothers United Against Violence and several parents who lost their children to violence in Hartford.

Mary Jones, whose son, Edward Haslam, was killed outside a North End nightclub earlier this month, said she was there to support Brown's efforts.

"I think he's doing something good for the community, but we need to get the whole neighborhood involved," Jones said. "Our kids are being shot down like animals."

Leroy Barber, whose son, Jermaine Huguley, was killed down the street from his house as he came home from work less than two weeks ago, said he was guilty of being apathetic about the level of violence in the city until his son's death.

"That could have been your brother, your father, your son," he said. "That could have been any one of us."

The 90-minute rally wrapped up with a series of short sermons by other preachers.

Brown, who criticized Rell for being quick to make public statements of support when high-profile slayings occur, but silent when ordinary people die on Hartford's streets, promised more rallies at city hall and eventually a march on the Capitol.

"It don't mean a hill of beans if we don't continue," Brown said.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
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