Murder in New Britain: Poles and Puerto Ricans Living in Concentrated Poverty
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This article examines the murder of a Polish immigrant in New Britain, Connecticut in January 2006 by a young Puerto Rican woman. While newspaper accounts and websites describe the murder as a random act, the use of ethnic slurs and characterization of the victim and perpetrator by their ethnic identities insinuate the murder was a result of conflict between Poles and Puerto Ricans. In this article, I suggest a counter narrative, one that focuses on the socio-economic conditions in the neighborhood where the murder took place. Using census tract data, I show that the Poles and Puerto Ricans were living together in a space of concentrated poverty related to high unemployment, low educational attainment, and high rates of poverty, social conditions that are related to higher rates of crime, delinquency, substance abuse, and violence.
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