We here at SBPDL shy away from no topic - no matter how strange or unbelievable - yet find few words to describe the despondency we feel over the death of Jasper Howard.
Since college football and sports is all that matters in America, the death of 20-year-old Howard - a UCONN football player - has monopolized not just nightly newscasts, but every newscasts:
"About nine hours after his Huskies walked off Rentschler Field with a victory over Louisville, after a press conference filled with smiles and platitudes, UConn football coach Randy Edsall's phone rang. When the phone rings at that hour, Edsall said, it's never good.
Edsall would have to go to St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford to identify a body.
Jasper Howard, a 5-foot-9, 174-pound junior cornerback for the Huskies, was dead after an on-campus stabbing early Sunday."
...At the press conference attended by UConn President Michael Hogan, athletic director Jeff Hathaway and Edsall, Blicher said witnesses have been interviewed.The outpouring of emotion for the death of Howard has been touching, but for anyone to say that an individual who took the life of another is not a danger to the Hartford community - already besieged by massive crime - is asinine, considering that one person died because of his actions and another was sent to the hospital:
"There is no specific reason to believe [the suspect] is a danger to our community," said Blicher, who added that campus police were at the party. "And I will point out the fact that this stabbing was subsequent to an altercation that occurred, so I will call this not a random act of violence. The university does not have an individual walking around just stabbing people. This was definitely subsequent to the altercation that occurred."
Howard is from Miami, a place where peaceful block parties are few and far between, and came to UCONN to escape the violence, where, ostensibly, the University of Connecticut also harbors unsafe block parties where students are stabbed.
"A banner signed by West Virginia fans that read "Today we are all Huskies" was displayed in the Connecticut tunnel entrance to Mountaineer Field. Other signs in the crowd read "In memory of Jasper Howard, 1989-2009," and "Husky Forever, JH."
Hundreds of foam, heart-shaped pins and armbands with Howard's number on them were distributed at the main entrance to the stadium."
How did Howard end up at UCONN? Good question:
"Jasper Howard is not Connecticut's most highly touted commit in the class of 2007, but he does represent what the Huskies are trying to accomplish- bring in speed and athleticism from wherever available."Howard had not decided on a major at UCONN yet, but was to be the father of a child with his longtime girlfriend. SBPDL sends its condolences to Howard's family. This is a tragedy that should not have happened.
He grew up in Little Haiti, Miami, an area not unknown for crime and tough times, all of course a byproduct of evil white racism and the retreat of white people to whitopia's.
Interestingly, Connecticut is not what many people in the country consider a high crime state, but the New England scent it gives off might just be supplied by an unhealthy dose of Lysol, as Hartford is the 7th most dangerous city in America, way ahead of Howard's hometown of Miami (19th):
"Overall, “part one” crime is down by 9.6 percent, the officials said. (Click on the graph below to see a larger version.) This includes murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and auto theft. Officials said the total for this category—8,041 crimes—is the lowest statistic in recorded history for Hartford. Some of the specific crime category drops since 2007 are double-digit, such as burglary (15.7 percent) and auto theft (18.1 percent). There were drops as well in statistics for rape (5.4 percent), robbery (3.5 percent) and larceny (9.4 percent).Howard, who came to Hartford to attend college and escape the violence of Miami, jumped head first into one of America's most violent cities, even though college recruiters probably told him the city was a slice out of New England charm and puritan bliss:
Chief Roberts acknowledged that aggravated assaults are up by 12.8 percent, the only category of part one crime to increase since the previous year. There were 794 such assaults in Hartford in 2008, compared to 704 in 2007.
Therein is the real tragedy: Howard came to Hartford to escape the violence of Miami and to make a better life for himself, his girlfriend and family to be. He is now just another statistic in Hartford's rising crime problem (The state of Connecticut is only nine percent Black, with most of that population living in big cities).
The racial makeup of the city was 27.72% White, 38.05% Black or African American, 0.54% Native American, 1.62% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 26.51% from other races, and 5.44% from two or more races. 40.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino, chiefly of Puerto Rican origin. 17.83% of the population classified itself as non-Hispanic White.
Today's post was to be about college football and the lack of accountability that administrators have over athletes - and the monumental amount of money deployed to keep coaches employed by ensuring Black athlete-students stay in school through tutoring - but we will not post it.
Instead, the senseless tragedy of a 20-year-old football player, killed at a party where police were in attendance, will be honored.
RIP Jasper Howard. May your killer be found and justice be done.