Hartford, Ct., police are dismantling public memorials set up for shooting victims. Hartford Courant columnist Helen Ubinas says that is a proper action because “drugging and boozing” was going on at a memorial last week when shots were fired and 18 people were arrested. “These memorials are not only a fad, but an industry that thrives every time someone gets shot,” Ubinas says, noting that her own newspaper carried a photo of one on page one last week.
“Before they dismantle one more memorial, the police and the city need a plan,” Ubinas writes. “The memorials don’t necessarily have to be banned, but they should come with a time limit. After a week, they have to be cleaned up. Clean up the faded RIPs that have become embarrassingly ubiquitous in this city, too.” Local residents quoted police as saying they were dismantling the memorials because people were trespassing and that the candles used in them were a fire hazard.