Body Cameras for HPD, Stadium Update, Race for Governor, Fast Food Strike, Know Your Rights

This column appears in the September 11 – 18 edition of the Hartford News… Trayvon Martin Act Update: Councilwoman Cynthia Jennings has introduced a proposal for all Hartford Police officers to wear body cameras… Police brutality victim Luis Anglero, Jr. appeared in court last week on trumped up charges of interfering and breach of peace. Luis was the victim of an unprovoked taser attack by Hartford Police Det. Shawn Ware last month. The assault was caught on surveillance and cellphone video. Luis’ case was continued until October 15th. We’re still waiting to see if Ware will be held accountable for his crime. Stay tuned for updates on these developing stories.

There will be a public hearing on September 17th, 6:30 pm at City Hall on the Downtown North development proposals the city has received as Mayor Pedro Segarra and city council president Shawn Wooden continue to pursue their Rock Cats stadium vanity project, at the expense of a proposed North Hartford supermarket and health / nutrition complex. The proposal which Segarra sent to the city council would cram a supermarket into a mixed-use complex anchored by the stadium. Martha Page, executive director of Hartford Food System and Rex Fowler, executive director of Hartford Community Loan Fund, the two organizations working to bring a full-service supermarket to Hartford, wrote an op-ed to the Courant warning the city not to go this route, as traffic congestion on days that the stadium is in use would make the supermarket inaccessible to shoppers.

“Following the announcement of the city’s new vision for Downtown North, no longer to be anchored by a supermarket but instead by a baseball stadium/entertainment venue, our operator and investors indicated the proposed development’s change in orientation increased the risk of our project too much. Many if not most of the supermarket’s projected shoppers would still be driving to a Downtown North store and might understandably opt to buy food in the suburbs on game days to avoid stadium traffic.

“That doesn’t mean supermarkets and stadiums can’t co-exist. The risk is mitigated in cities such as Boston and San Francisco, where good public transportation systems allow stadium patrons to take a subway to a game rather than drive, or where supermarket customers are more likely to walk to the store rather than take their cars. Hartford isn’t there yet.

“Other experienced operators and investors concur — if we want a sustainable, successful supermarket that will serve city residents for the long term, Downtown North may no longer be a wise location… In 2011, with growing demand for a downtown grocer, the city provided financial backing to open the Market at Hartford 21. Private investors with industry expertise had passed on that project for a variety of reasons. Six months after it opened, the Market at Hartford 21 closed. More recently, a highly publicized market in downtown Bridgeport closed after less than a year. We should listen to those who know more about this than any of us… Why not bring in a reputable supermarket consultant and let them offer guidance on the best location for a supermarket, one we all agree the city desperately needs?”

The demise of the revolutionary plan supported by Page and Fowler is equally as important as the funding issue which triggered protests against the stadium.

The race for governor kicked into full gear following the Labor Day holiday. A new Tom Foley ad touted Foley’s tenure in Iraq during the the U.S. occupation. Foley was the Occupation Authority’s representative for private sector development. The ad stated that Foley “created jobs” in Iraq. Um, not quite. Foley actually put many Iraqis out of work as the point man for the U.S. privatization campaign. ICYMI I talked about Foley’s history in Iraq in a July column. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2014/07/31/political-roundup-ct-race-for-governor-border-crisis-gun-violence-engulfs-chicago/ Last week Foley promised not to lay off state employees as part of his plan to close a projected $1.4 billion budget deficit (I’m a state worker). Foley made the comments on his budget plan in interviews with the Connecticut Mirror and WDRC-AM 1360. Most state employee unions are due for wage negotiations next year. The current contract covering health care, retirement and other benefits does not expire until 2022. Both Foley and incumbent Gov. Dan Malloy have promised not to attempt to renegotiate the benefits contract.

Malloy, who did not mention Black and Latino unemployment or poverty once during any of his State of the State addresses, talked about urban employment on Monday in a shameless attempt to get votes. Malloy’s “urban initiative” is the equivalent of a playboy putting the moves on female customers during happy hour at the local bar. Malloy told people of color that he really loved them and will hook them up after he gets elected; just forget about that minor ignoring you during my first term thing. Following the mass shooting in Newtown, a legislative gun violence task force was created. Urban legislators were excluded. The task force visited suburban towns, including Newtown, while avoiding gun violence plagued cities Hartford, New Haven and Bridgeport. There have been over 200 homicides in Hartford during the past decade. During the debate over the gun bill that was passed in 2013, Rep. Douglas McCrory spoke passionately on the House floor about the bill lacking any provisions regarding urban

gun violence. Now that he wants the Black / Latino vote, Malloy is promising the urban community that he will make everything better. The Democrats have controlled communities of color for decades. How has that worked out for areas like North Hartford, where the poverty rate is annually among the highest in the country? Black and Brown folks, don’t fall for this election year bs. The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement Jackson Plan is a real blueprint for economic justice. http://mxgm.org/the-jackson-plan-a-struggle-for-self-determination-participatory-democracy-and-economic-justice/

Last week fast food workers in 150 cities, including Hartford, staged a strike for a $15.00 minimum wage and the right to unionize. 13 strikers were arrested for acts of civil disobedience during a peaceful protest on Washington Street. The Socialist Equality Party makes a persuasive argument for why all low-wage workers should make a living wage as high as $21.00. http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2014/06/socialist-equality-party-seattles-15-an-hour-minimum-wage-of-little-benefit-to-workers/

“In a statement May 29, Socialist Alternative hailed the impending passage of the (Seattle) minimum wage increase, declaring, ‘One hundred thousands workers will be lifted out of poverty.’ This is a lie. Even with a full-time job, which many low-wage workers are denied, at $15-an-hour a family of four cannot sustain a decent standard of living and still qualifies for food stamps. Speaking on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ program, Seattle’s Democratic mayor, Ed Murray, admitted, ‘The minimum wage would be about $21 an hour here in the city of Seattle, which is a very expensive city, if we actually wanted to get a real livable wage. Fifteen dollars would still be very hard for someone making that wage.’ ”

Know Your Rights: How to Handle Police Encounters

Courtesy of attorney Peter M. Baskin who practices law in Arlington, Virginia.

DEALING WITH COPS ON THE STREET

If approached by a police officer, ask if you are free to leave: if yes, walk away immediately. If approached at home, stay inside.

Refuse to answer all questions except about your identity.

Refuse to consent to any search, or home entry, unless shown a warrant.

Refuse to admit to anything or to explain anything.

Refuse to take any sobriety or other tests on the street.

Demand to have a lawyer present when questioned.

TRAFFIC STOP DO’S AND DON’TS

DO: Be calm and keep your hands visible at all times.

DO: Identify yourself fully and agree to come to court.

DO: Give your license to the police officer as soon as possible.

DO: Tell the officer you will talk only about your identity and a court date without a lawyer present.

DO NOT: Admit to anything, explain anything or consent to any search.

DO NOT: Take any sobriety tests or other tests on the street.

DO NOT: Answer any questions except about your identity.

DO NOT: Believe any statement that you will “help” yourself if you “cooperate”. Cooperating means giving up these rights and only helps the police by giving them evidence they will use against you!

IF ARRESTED

DO NOT RESIST: You will be handcuffed, searched and pomptly taken to a Judicial Officer for bond. Identify yourself and agree to come to court. SAY NOTHING ELSE AND CALL A LAWYER IMMEDIATELY!

Follow CP on Twitter @CommunityParty1 for state, national and global headlines and updates on the Trayvon Martin, Safe Work Environment and Jane Doe Acts. Visit our No Sellout blog for the archive of CP Hartford News columns. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/ Check out the CP Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/CommunityPartyAction Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcement on our social justice platform. Contact us at 860-206-8879 or samuelssloflo@aol.com.

Resources

United for a Fair Economy State of the Dream report on racial economic disparity:

http://www.faireconomy.org/dream

David Samuels
Founder
Community Party

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