Tall, lean and slightly anxious, the only thing that separates him from his peers is his gaze. Dark, almond shapes evaluate and then drink in the new scenes around him. In his eighteen years of life, from the streets of Hartford to his overcrowded home packed with siblings and cousins, Edwin has seen more than most. In second grade he lost his best friend and father to the Department of Corrections. The local news headlined his father’s crime and Edwin soon found himself being identified by his father’s crime.
“When he got locked up it was on the news, and that affected me in many ways. Where ever I would walk, ‘Hey! You’re this guy’s son’ and it just put a negative image to me. I used to break down all the time. Just because my father made mistakes you know, it’s not me. I didn’t make those same mistakes.”
Edwin hasn’t seen his father since he was eight. Opting out of metal detectors and strict visitation rules the two have kept in contact over the past decade the old fashion way: letter writing.
He respects his mother more than any other person in the world saying, “If it wasn’t for my mother, honestly I wouldn’t be here right now. She took care of me, my brothers, my sisters, my cousins and my other cousins from DCF.” Edwin admits that his past does hold him back sometimes, “it holds me back once and awhile, when I do write him it brings back so many memories and when I do sit down and think it just hits me that he’s not there.”
But the negative doesn’t stop him from drawing on the positive influences his father had on him as a young child. His father introduced him to running and track is still a sport that Edwin likes to compete in. He shows his maturity when he says he’s going to hold off jumping into CCSU’s track team, “I am going to try and keep my grades up first and then join.”
When people perceive the police acting in an unfair and biased manner, they will tend to have less trust in police.