by Mensah M. Dean, Updated: March 20, 2020
Even as the coronavirus pandemic has led officials to largely shut down Philadelphia and left its streets and subways nearly empty, violent crime has continued unabated.
From Monday — when schools were closed and most public and private sector employees began working from home — through midday Friday, the city recorded three homicides, nine shootings, three stabbings, and one police-involved shooting of a man with a gun, according to the Philadelphia Police Department.
That violence follows an even deadlier three-day period from March 13 through Sunday, during which seven people were killed, including Sgt. James O’Connor IV, 46, fatally shot in Frankford while his SWAT unit was trying to arrest a man wanted for murder. That man, Hassan Elliott, 21, now also is charged with murder and other counts in the officer’s death.
As of Friday, police said, the city’s homicide total for the year stood at 86, compared with 66 at the same point last year — a 26% increase.
The cited article is four weeks old. According to the Philadelphia Police Department, as of 11:59 PM EDT on Thursday, April 16th, there had been 113 homicides in the City of Brotherly Love, up 16% from the same day last year, and tying the same date in 2007, the highest since that year.
That year also saw 391 homicides in Philly, so the city is right on pace to tie that record.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey retired in January of 2016, coinciding with the end of Mayor Michael Nutter’s term. Mr Nutter had brought him out of retirement when he began his term in 2008, and crime in Philly steadily declined: the city’s homicide rate dropped 37% and violent crime 31%. In the city’s nine most dangerous districts, which account for 65% of homicides and 75% of shootings, homicides dropped by over 40%. Ramsey’s tactics included installing a network of surveillance cameras in the city’s most dangerous sections, increasing the number of cops on the beat, and moving police patrols out of their squad cars and onto foot patrols or bicycle patrols.
In 2016, there were 277 homicides in Philly, a drop of three since Commissioner Ramsey’s last full year. But, subsequent to that, the numbers steadily rose to 315, then 353 and then 356. Mayor Nutter might not have been the best in Philadelphia’s history, but he sure wasn’t the worst, the worst being his successor, Jim Kenney. Instead of focusing on reducing crime, Mr Kenney was big on taxing ‘sugary drinks,’ setting up ‘supervised injection sites,’ where junkies can shoot up ‘safely’ when even Governor Jerry Brown (D-CA) vetoed a law which would have allowed San Francisco to open one, worrying about global warming climate change, continuing ‘sanctuary city’ policies, and opposing President Trump.
City officials are “extremely concerned about the level of violence that is taking place” while residents should be staying home because of the virus, Managing Director Brian Abernathy said Friday.
Just how stupid do you have to be to think that people who are willing to go out with guns and kill others are going to sit at home because Mayor Jim Kenney told them to? Must be the same people who think that criminals will obey gun control laws.
The reason that the crime rate has not plummeted during the shutdown is that the city’s entrenched criminal population is too large to be properly policed, said Terry Starks, founder and executive director of the Urban Crisis Response Center.
So, there’s an “entrenched criminal population” in Philly? How surprising that they have guns they are not legally allowed to own.
And, of course, selling drugs is an ‘essential’ business, because junkies don’t stop needing their fixes just because the Mayor told them to stay home.
“There’s only 6,300 police officers in a city of 1.6 million people. There’s no way in the world a police department of that size can handle that capacity of people. So … crime is getting overlooked,” Starks said. “So now, people think they can walk up and blow somebody away as long as they get away from the scene. There’s no love. They come like wolves.”
Let’s see, 6,300 police officers for 1,600,000 people is one officer for every 254 people. In New York City, which has far more diverse problems due to the port, the subway system and huge corporate size, 38,422 officers serve 8,399,000 people, or one officer for every 218 people, and New York is not the crime-infested swamp that Philadelphia is. But Mayor Kenney, the very appropriately named Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, and District Attorney Larry Krasner, who was voted in on a platform of not prosecuting ‘petty’ criminals, have created a system in which criminals do not fear law enforcement. Robberies, ‘petty’ theft, misdemeanors, the thugs get away with those in Philly, and the police no longer even bother with that. Then everyone is shocked, shocked! when the petty criminal suddenly becomes a not-so-petty criminal by shooting a cop.
The crime rate in foul, fetid, fuming, foggy, filthy Philadelphia is due to the choices the people of the city have made. They vote for liberal politicians who believe that it’s somehow not pandering to the population by promising not to go after criminals, and when they see crime, they frequently refuse to help law enforcement put the criminals away. They allow the criminals safe haven in their own neighborhoods, and treat drug abuse as no crime at all.
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