Hartford Community Leaders React To President's Plan To Curb Gun Violence

President Biden's strategy announcement comes as Hartford reports its 20th homicide of 2021.

NBC Universal, Inc.

Hartford community leaders are applauding President Biden’s proposal to stop gun violence. It’s violence that has gripped many cities.

Responding to shot spotter activation just before 2 a.m. Wednesday, Hartford police found two people shot near Bedford street. One, a man in his 30s, was pronounced dead on the scene. This was the city’s 20th homicide.

“We’re doing everything we can in a year where violence is up this much,” said Hartford Police Lieutenant, Aaron Boisvert.

President Biden today, addressed the problem Hartford and many other American cities are facing. He announced a strategy, responding to gun crime. Hartford’s Mothers United Against Violence (MUAV) says now is the time for this effort.

“Obviously we’ve had an uptick in violence and gun violence specifically. All around the country,” said MUAV Development and Program Manager, Deborah Davis.

Biden’s comprehensive strategy focuses on stemming the flow of firearms and reducing gun violence. It involves the use of Rescue Plan funding to invest in community intervention programs help communities provide more community policing.

“Illegal gun trafficking and all the stuff needs to be addressed,” said Hartford’s Reverend Henry Brown, who praised the President’s plan. “I love it, to tell you the honest truth about it.”

Brown says this comes at a needed time for Hartford, which is seeing historic levels of gun violence.

“I hate to say it like that but it’s the norm. We experience shootings every other day now and sometimes we experience shootings day after day after day,” said Brown.

Wednesday’s homicide also involved a brief, high speed chase, which resulted in two suspects being arrested. Their vehicle crashed near the intersection of Farmington Ave. and Sigourney Street. The vehicle collided with an oncoming third party vehicle and rolled over. Police said they found two firearms inside the overturned suspect’s vehicle.

The two suspects were taken into custody where charges are pending. Police say neither was seriously hurt. The driver of the third-party vehicle was also unhurt.

Arriving on scene was Stacey Lewis, who identified herself as the driver’s mother. Lewis expressed frustration and questioned why the chase ended the way it did.

“One thing I know about my son is that he’s a good driver. What did (the police) do to make him crash?” she asked.

Police say considering the circumstances, the chase was warranted.

“(Pursuing) A suspect’s vehicle in a homicide, that’s well within our pursuit policy,” said Boisvert.

It’s events like Wednesday’s homicide that MUAV says, has the community unnerved.

“People are in a panic mode. They are all thinking that no, this is not real,” said Davis.

Hartford Police say there have been 110 people arrested for firearm possession this year alone.

Contact Us