PHILADELPHIA, PA – According to Philadelphia’s city controller, Philadelphia will reach 450 murders for the year if the current trend continues.
The current number of murders, as of October 6, 2020, is 363. That is more murders than recorded by the end of any year dating back to 2007, when 391 murders were recorded. It is worth noting, however, that as of October 6, 2007, only 309 murders had been recorded.
For every year between 2007 and 2020, the annual homicide rate ranged between a low of 192 murders in 2013 and a high of 260 in 2019.
In other words, this is not a trend. It is an outlier. Crime statistics on the Philadelphia Police Department web page do not include information before 2007.
Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney explained that the crime spike is due to economic factors. The good news, according to Kenney, is that police are doing their best. His solution, if his tweets are anything to go by, is gun control and community activism.
The City will continue to move our violence prevention work forward and push for meaningful gun law reform at the state and federal levels. We are committed to strengthening our work with community partners to make our streets safer for all residents. https://t.co/YYHt9YGO0v
— Jim #MaskUpPHL Kenney (@PhillyMayor) October 6, 2020
The mayor’s tweet includes a link to a story that discusses other crime prevention efforts, most of which seem reasonable, but on examination may not be quite as robust as they could be.
For instance, several of the programs are designed to react to murders after they happen. Take a look at the readily-accessible Philadelphia crime map to see the few neighborhoods where all the murders occur, and all the neighborhoods that are crime-free.
Some of the measures proposed in the plan touted by the mayor deal with emotions stirred by the violence. They suggest “Peace walks” to promote positive values in the city and social support for people who might otherwise turn to a life of crime.
All of these sound good but there is a flaw in the clever plan. It is easily seen in a video, taken during one of the riots in Philadelphia.
POLICE CARS DESTROYED: Rioters destroy a line of police cars, ghost riding them into each other and setting them on fire in West Philadelphia.
— FOX 29 (@FOX29philly) May 31, 2020
As anyone can see by watching this video, rioters commit crimes in direct view of police officers. A severely vandalized police vehicle is violently pushed toward a row of police officers, who stand firm, but do nothing. Why? Because they were told to stand down.
The community policing ideas of the mayor aren’t bad, they’re just pointless if he is simultaneously telling the police commissioner to stand down. It’s a bit like suggesting that people should water their plants more often to fight a fire that is currently destroying a home. First put out the fire, then worry about the garden.
Philadelphia’s new police commissioner, Danielle Outlaw, is no dummy. She knows what is going on and how to get her message through despite the many censorious political filters she must be sensitive to.
Outlaw rightly points out that, “We are only one component of the criminal justice system. And the notion that the police department alone can cure the pandemic of gun violence is not only erroneous but it absolves other stakeholders of their duty to participate in the solution to this public health crisis”
What are the “other components” Outlaw referred to? One of those is surely the office of Mayor Jim Kenney.
A quick check on the mayor demonstrates his exact level of commitment to law enforcement. It was on his order that hundreds of citations issued by police during “civil unrest” in the city have been waived.
When asked for an explanation, Kenney responded, “My decision to waive these violations is not a statement on the validity of the individual citations.
Rather, it is a recognition of the core concerns that caused thousands to demonstrate on the streets of Philadelphia.”
If that wasn’t clear enough, he added that “In waiving these notices, I recognize that those issues are vitally important, that the pain of those marching is very real, and that their message — black lives matter — needs to be heard every day until systemic racism is fully eradicated from this city and nation.”
So, according to the mayor, rioting is more important than protecting the people of Philadelphia from riot damage and the criminals who cause it.
That might interfere with all the idealistic plans he promoted for community policing measures that amount to a lot of talk and very little action. Or when they do require action, he puts a stop to it by ordering officers to stand down.
Another area of concern might be the office of District Attorney Lawrence S. Krasner.
Krasner was helped into office in 2018 by George Soros, who donated almost $1.5 million to his campaign via a PAC. That is more than seven times the $200,000 raised independently by Krasner.
Why would Soros back Krasner? His official bio on the city of Philadelphia’s website, paints him as a classic anti-police radical.
Krasner openly supports ACT UP, the Marxist group Black Lives Matter (BLM), Occupy Philly, Reclaim Philadelphia, and other radical groups. It is exactly the kind of resume one might expect in a callow youth dreaming of success as a singer-songwriter, but should be poison to the candidacy of a district attorney.
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To top it all off, Krasner doesn’t mind prosecuting police officers for doing their jobs. Back in June, three so-called “protesters dangerously blocked Interstate 676. Officer Richard Nicoletti used OC spray to disperse the protesters using non-lethal means.
Krasner then filed charges against Nicoletti with “three counts of simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, official oppression, and one count of possession of an instrument of crime.”
That is exactly the kind of person Soros always backs in these contests, almost as if he is trying to destroy the rule of law in America by co-opting those most directly responsible for enforcing it. If district attorneys refuse to prosecute crime, the number of criminals captured by police will be irrelevant.
The police commissioner knows this. As commissioner Outlaw stated in a recent press conference, “there must be real consequences for those who engage in gun violence. Consequences that not only hold those actors accountable but that also serve to deter others.”
How can there be consequences if the mayor wants the police to stand down and the district attorney won’t prosecute those criminals sent to him for prosecution?
Danielle Outlaw has to deal with many problems in the city of Philadelphia. They can be looked at as failures in police sensitivity, or maybe, just maybe, it is the elected officials of Philadelphia who aren’t sensitive enough.
Maybe they don’t care about crime at all. Maybe they think it is fine for the citizens of Philadelphia to be murdered, robbed, and raped at unprecedented levels. How else can the product of their leadership be explained? Easy, it can’t.
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