Hundreds from Hartford’s NAACP take part in ‘March for Justice’ rally

HARTFORD – Hundreds of people gathered at the State Capitol for what they called the “March for Justice.”

The Greater Hartford NAACP wanted to give a voice to those who have had run-ins with the law. There’s the saying “second chances work out even better than the first because you learn from your mistakes.”

Michael Croke, 26, of Milford knows all too well about second chances because he was given one. Croke was incarcerated when he was 17-years-old and it was a bad decision that changed his life for the better.

“When I was 17, I had skipped school. I was supposed to be a senior and I was a freshman and I ended up making a bad decision and I snatched a woman’s purse,” said Croke.

However, it’s not just people like Croke who want a second shot at life. It’s former and current elected officials. Joe Ganim, the mayor of Bridgeport said he knows how hard it is to not be discriminated against based on a person’s past records.

“I was formerly incarcerated. I fought, but it was stressful getting a second chance,” said Mayor Ganim.

The Greater Hartford NAACP had one message to send out.

“When you come out of jail, you don’t have nothing. If you don’t have family, you don’t have nothing so what do you do? You have to get a job,” said Joshua Fee of the Greater Hartford NAACP.

The rally pushed for what they called justice and inclusion in policies and lawmaking. They marched down Capitol Avenue, onto Main Street, passed Capitol Community College and ended at the Hartford Skate Park.

Among the large group of people, every person had a different story to share. “I think as part of keeping the crime rate down, get the higher education into the communities, into institutions,” added Croke.

“We don’t want people to stop fighting,” added Fee.