Class, politics, and murder in Hartford

Two teenagers from prosperous suburbs near Hartford CT were murdered execution-style Thursday morning in Hartford after a “botched robbery.” The Hartford Courant detailed their lives, saying one chose a “thug lifestyle”, while the other was a popular high school football player in the affluent suburb of West Hartford.

Colin McEnroe, who blogs for the Hartford Courant (the paper of record for the state) says the murders were common knowledge by Thursday, but police didn’t release the names until Friday at 5:30pm.

By Friday morning, the police still had not released the names.  Friday noon came and went as well. As the afternoon wore on, it started to feel like something known as “taking out the trash.” Any administration, city, state, federal knows the old trick of holding onto a toxic story until Friday evening when the news cycle slows down, especially in the summer.

Why did they want to hide the story? Because the mayoral race in Hartford is soon, and the candidates raise “enormous” amounts of money in West Hartford.

If you’re raising money in West Hartford, you don’t want to be explaining how Hartford problems reached out a killed a West Hartford kid. Worse still, it was a kid people knew. A kid people clapped and cheered for at football games.

Hence their apparent attempt to bury the story.

We finally got the release at 5:30 p.m., which is textbook take out the trash timing. I truly do hope this is not what it looks like, because that would be sad, sad commentary on the people involved.

Don’t just blame Hartford, things like this are a two-way street. And I say that as one who grew up in West Hartford and managed, decades ago, to get into serious trouble in Hartford. Given that Hartford police said it was execution-style and a botched robbery, my guess is the teenagers tried to jack money and drugs from a dealer, it went the wrong way, and they got shot dead. Whatever it was, someone seriously wanted them dead. Another sad fact: if they hadn’t been from West Hartford, it wouldn’t have been front-page news either.

The powers-that-be stupidly and unsuccessfully tried to bury the story. Their lack of candor is already hurting them.