Diary

Black community in Philly protests against the police, but also complains that police aren't solving enough killings

(Michael Bryant/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

I was doing some research, looking for a story I remembered, in which then Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey decried the “no snitchin'” culture in the heavily black neighborhoods of Philadelphia, when I came across a story about his announced retirement.

Philly Police Commissioner Ramsey to retire

by Aubrey Whelan and Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writers| October 14, 2015

Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey couldn’t stand the thought of burying another one of his own.

It was March, and he had long been thinking of retirement, ever since Mayor Nutter had won reelection. Even then, he had been “95 percent sure.” His career was at an apex – there had been presidential appointments, and prominent positions on national policing boards, and an unprecedented drop in homicides in a city once dubbed “Killadelphia.”

When 2015 ended, there had been 280 homicides in the City of Brotherly Love, an unfortunate jump from 248 the previous year, but overall he presided over a sharp drop in murder. In 2007, the year before he became Commissioner, there were 391 bodies laying in the city streets. In Mayor Michael Nutter’s (D-Philadelphia) and the new Commissioner’s first year, homicides dropped to 331, and then to 302 the following year. 2013 saw 246 homicides, the lowest number since 1967.

It seems that the city has re-earned that nickname!

As of December 9th, Killadelphia had seen 465 corpses homicides. That’s good for the bronze medal, 3rd place in all of the city’s long history, under Mayor Nutter’s successor, Jim Kenney (D-Philadelphia), under ‘social justice’ District Attorney Larry Krasner, the beneficiary of George Soros’ campaign millions, and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, who seems to be trying, but is little more than a pawn and tool of Mayor Kenney, and had her own ‘social justice’ history in Oakland and Portland.

What moved me to do that research in the first place? It was this article in The Philadelphia Inquirer:

Under Fire

In 8,500 shootings since 2015, suspects have been charged in 1 out of 5 cases and convicted in just 9%.

by Chris Palmer, Mike Newall, Mensah M. Dean and Dylan Purcell | December 10, 2020 | 5:00 AM EST

Every trip outside the house for Jackee Nichols brings a new reminder of the pain.

Nichols is from a part of South Philadelphia that has been embroiled in a shooting conflict for as long as anyone can remember. In October 2018, that violence claimed her 15-year-old grandson. Police believe he was gunned down for living on the wrong block — but, like most shootings in Philadelphia, no one has been charged in the crime.

Now Nichols faces the daily torment of living among the people she suspects killed her grandson, Rasul Benson, leaving trauma to resurface in unexpected moments.

There is, of course, the very #woke notation that this article was “One in an occasional series about Philadelphia’s unchecked gun violence,” as though a gun, an inanimate object, is somehow responsible, and not the criminal mindset allowed to run rampant through Strawberry Mansion and not-so-Nicetown. “Gun violence” is the euphemism used by the credentialed media and the left to avoid blaming actual people.¹

Nichols, 57, a devout Muslim, raced home and cried and prayed for forgiveness, overwhelmed by the feeling that she has been ignored by police, abandoned by some in her neighborhood, and failed by a city she believes has turned an uncaring eye toward unsolved killings.

“It seems to me,” she said, her voice catching, “like you all forgot about my boy.”

Nichols’ pain is one shared by thousands of Philadelphians, because city law enforcement is failing to fulfill one of its most fundamental responsibilities: Secure justice when people are shot.

There are people in her neighborhood who know who murdered her grandson, but unless someone actually tells the police, gives them some clues as to who did it, and why, don’t blame “city law enforcement.” The police depend on the public to help them.

The article goes on to include some grisly statistics:

  • Out of almost 8,500 shootings since 2015, just 21% led to charges, less than 9% have reached a conviction.
  • As of November 1, just under one in six of this year’s nearly 1,900 shootings had led to a suspect in custody.

Then the #woke had to have their say:

What’s more, in a historically segregated city, where Black and brown neighborhoods have long suffered from government disinvestmentinstitutional racism, and heavy-handed police tactics, The Inquirer found that this system has disproportionately failed these communities.

Since 2015, almost 2,700 young Black men were wounded in shootings, but suspected triggermen were convicted in only 6% of their cases.

White men of the same age were three times as likely to see their shooters convicted.

Uhhh, if white victims of the same age were thrice as likely to see the men who shot them tried and convicted, isn’t it possible, just possible, that it was because a greater percentage of white witnesses cooperated with the police? Of course, the #woke among the Inquirer’s reportorial staff would never even ask that question. Instead, they’d frame the statistic, as they did, by blaming “institutional racism”. Remember, they forced Stan Wischnowski, senior vice president and executive editor of the Inquirer to resign, and the paper to issue an apology, because their precious little feelings were hurt.

One has to ask: why, if the black community in Philadelphia are so upset that the police are not solving many of the homicides in black neighborhoods, are so many from that community demanding that the city ‘defund the police’? Would not reducing the resources available to the Philadelphia Police Department be more probable to reduce the number of crimes that they can solve, the number of patrols they can do?

The article does note the ‘defund’ movement, but uncritically states that it’s the fault of the police because the black community do not trust them.

Police say they are embracing reform, developing smarter, more targeted tactics, and trying to overcome the challenge of making cases when so many witnesses don’t want to talk. Within the Philadelphia Police Department, many officers — including Commissioner Danielle Outlaw — have also grown increasingly outspoken about what they view as a criminal justice system and reform-oriented prosecutor’s office that have not cracked down hard enough on illegal guns.

“The criminal community, they’re more emboldened to go out and do more,” Outlaw said in an interview.

Conviction rates for nonfatal shootings and illegal gun possession have fallen since District Attorney Larry Krasner took office in 2018, according to data published by his office. Some police commanders also complain that repeat offenders now routinely get low bail or shorter sentences for gun crimes.

Still, Outlaw acknowledged that the Police Department is primarily responsible for building investigations to get suspected shooters off the street. And the failure to secure justice in the vast majority of gun-violence cases, she said, was “very concerning, for obvious reasons.”

I’ve noted the failures of Mr Krasner’s office previously, but they aren’t failures to him: he wants to see shorter jail terms, he wants to see fewer criminals convicted. And, once again, the “gun violence” trope is used.

Instead, the Inquirer published a sympathetic story, just the previous day, about cop killer Wesley Cook, who calls himself Mumia Abu-Jamal these days, and poor Mr Cook’s 39 years locked up for the murder of Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner.

Supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal demand his freedom on the 39th anniversary of his arrest in the death of a Philadelphia police officer

by Mensah M. Dean | December 9, 2020

Supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of killing a Philadelphia police officer in 1981, used the 39th anniversary of his arrest to call for his release from prison on Wednesday, saying he was innocent.

They also condemned the 1985 bombing of the MOVE compound in West Philadelphia and rejected a recent apology Philadelphia city councilmembers offered for the city’s actions that day in starting a fire that killed 11 people.

Well, in one way that apology was worthless: none of the Philadelphia councilmembers were in office thirty-five years ago, and none of them had anything to do with the MOVE action. How can anyone apologize for someone else’s actions?

The group, many of them MOVE members, gathered at the corner of 52nd and Larchwood Streets to demand freedom for Abu-Jamal, 66, a MOVE supporter who lived under a death sentence for two decades before his sentence was overturned by a federal judge in 2001. He’s now serving life without parole for the Dec. 9, 1981, slaying of Officer Daniel Faulkner.

Despite Abu-Jamal’s conviction and numerous failed appeals, his supporters maintain that he is not guilty of killing Faulkner, who was 25, and that his trial was tainted by racism and corruption.

Well, of course they do. There’s no evidence that Mr Cook² did not shoot Officer Faulkner, but that doesn’t matter: they don’t care if he is actually innocent, but are deifying him precisely because he did kill a police officer. Yet the same people are complaining that the Philadelphia Police Department isn’t bringing murderers in their own communities to justice.

In virtually every one of the murders in Philadelphia, there are people who were not involved but who know who the killers are, who have all of the evidence the police and even the stupid District Attorney need to make the arrests and win the convictions, to lock these killers away for the rest of their miserable lives.

Instead, the left pretend that the problem is ‘mass incarceration,’ when the real problem is that not enough criminals are incarcerated, for not long enough.
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¹ – In my personal website’s Stylebook, I note that “The term “gun violence” is, if you will pardon the pun, a politically loaded one, meant to convey the impression that an inanimate object was somehow violent all by itself. Sensible writers should use the term “shooting,” to make it clear that a person committed the violent act.” I do not use the term “gun violence,” save in direct quotes or to mock the concept that guns are somehow responsible for murder.
² – While I have not changed the fake name used in quoting the article, I will not go along with his ridiculous alias in my own words.
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