Report: Man arrested in Philly for carrying illegal firearm, attacking cops had 30 prior arrests on record

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PHILADELPHIA, PA- According to authorities, Philadelphia police apprehended a man who had 30 prior arrests on his record.

The suspect, 45-year-old Dean Bloodworth was arrested for illegally carrying a firearm in the area of 55th and Belmar streets, an area officials say has seen an increase in gun violence.

Captain Scott Drissel of the 12th police district said in a statement:

“He fought the officers. The officers had to actively restrain him.”

Included in Bloodworth’s 30 prior arrests is an arrest for attempted murder and a number of others for illegally carrying a firearm. Drissel said:

“I don’t believe in mass incarceration. I believe in strategic incarceration. I believe in holding people accountable that have shown they don’t, I guess, care about the community’s safety.”

Jane Roh, spokeswoman for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, said that she has been looking through Bloodworth’s record and so far has not found “any sentencing that is out of step with state-mandated guidelines.”

Captain Drissel said:

“When you have 30 prior arrests, you know I don’t care what age you are, that’s a lot of priors. At what point are people going to be held accountable?”

He added:

“We were third in the city with gun violence last year, so it’s a priority of ours to get out there and make an impact in the community.”

Records show that gun violence has skyrocketed across the city, including the 12th district in Southwest Philadelphia. In the 18th district, firearm arrests are up 50 percent year to date compared to last year.

Out of 175 gun arrests in 2020 in the 18th district, there has only been one completed in court due to the courts being closed because of COVID-19 precautions. The 12 district has a similar problem. Captain Drissel said:

“I understand COVID is a very serious thing, but we have to hold people accountable for their actions. We can’t be waiting three years to go to court and that’s what we’re seeing early on here.”

Bloodworth is currently being held on 10 percent of a $350,000 bail. Drissel said that the bail magistrates have identified this man as a menace and are taking the community’s safety into account.

As part of a protest against the spike in gun violence plaguing Philadelphia, Marine veteran Jamal Johnson has gone on a hunger strike to urge city leaders to take action. While picketing outside city hall, Johnson said:

“Mayor Kenney is not addressing the gun violence problem in Philadelphia. We are trying to stop the carnage in the streets. Anybody can be shot or killed in this city.”

Johnson has been on a hunger strike since January 18th. He believes that the spike in gun violence is a public emergency.

He is hoping to get Mayor Kenney’s attention about a multi-step resolution on gun violence that he claims City Council brought to the mayor five months ago. Johnson said:

“The main one being that gun violence be labeled an emergency in the city of Philadelphia and treated with the same urgency and transparency as COVID-19.”

He started sleeping outside City Hall, but was told that he could not camp out there. So, now he protests Monday through Friday and then on the weekend he takes his protest to the mayor’s house. He said:

“Seeing the shooting going on randomly I just thought it was time for me to go another step and put my own self on the line and let the mayor see how serious I and others are.”

Meanwhile, Kenney’s office issued a statement about Johnson’s hunger strike. It said, in part:

“The City supports the First Amendment rights of any person to peacefully protest, however, we don’t encourage anyone to take actions that would bring about any harm to themselves or others.”

It added:

“While we are steadfast in our efforts to reducing gun violence in our city, it is vital people understand what they are talking about when calling for a State of Emergency regarding our gun violence epidemic.”

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Philadelphia judges who keep releasing violent criminals are finally under fire from police officials, city leaders

December 16th, 2020

PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Philadelphia court system is getting its proverbial head handed to it on social media. At least three police captains, a department inspector, and a city councilman have issued blistering criticism over how recent firearm violation cases were handled in the courts. Their anger and frustrations were shockingly evident.

On Twitter, Philly police brass publicly throttled a Philadelphia magistrate who set bail for a defendant who had close to a dozen prior firearms violations.

The captain from the 12th District located in southwest Philadelphia posted on Twitter Saturday night. Commanding Officer Scott Drissel tweeted:

“This is a disgrace. DAO working with us helping to get high bail and OUR wishes and arguments were denied,” . “The community is demanding why and if these magistrates and judges have law-abiding citizens’ best interests in mind?”

Prosecutors requested that bail be set at $1 million, but the request and an appeal were denied.

Police officials say that instead, the amount set was 10% of $67,500. This comes as shootings and homicide rates are at historic levels.

Inspector Derrick Woods wrote in a Tweet:

“This must be addressed. Philly has 464 homicides and more than 2,000 shootings but the bail decisions do not reflect our reality. These are repeat violent offenders who continually break the law without meaningful consequences.”

Councilman Kenyatta Johnson also waded right into the feud Tweeting:
 
“We are sick and tired of being sick and tired of repeat gun offenders! The city is safe for no one. 450 plus murders! Unacceptable!”
 
The Philadelphia Court System is refusing to comment on the matter and is not identifying the magistrate involved.

Philadelphia has some of the highest violent crime rates in the country, and the second-highest (Chicago is the highest) murder rate among the ten largest cities this year.

As of November. 30, 454 people had been murdered in Philadelphia. That is up 39% from this time last year, with another full month to go.

The number of homicides so far this year is higher than any year since 1990, which had 500 homicides.

For the fourth year in a row, Philadelphia has seen more homicides than New York City, where the population is more than five times bigger.

John Apeldorn of the Citizens Crime Commission said, “I think it’s like the perfect storm right now.”

Apeldorn adds that in addition to the heroin and opioid epidemic and warring gangs involved in the drug trade, criminals have been emboldened by the sidelining of police:

You have police officers because of the defunding and things like that, morale is low, they’re lining up to retire. The criminal element knows this, they’re out there committing their crime and crime is going up.

“I think we’re experiencing a trickle-down effect from the start of the pandemic with just crime going up to the riots and things happening in Philadelphia.”

The incoming Biden administration and his pick for Attorney General is of great interest to the law enforcement community.

The frontrunner in Biden’s search for Attorney General is Doug Jones, a Democratic Senator from the state of Alabama. Jones is a center-left liberal who has been a groundbreaking voice for prosecutorial reform to end mass incarceration.
 
Jones recently wrote on his website:
 
“While I sought harsh punishments for violent offenders as U.S. attorney, not all cases require severe sentences. Judges and prosecutors should be given flexibility and be empowered to decide the fate of those before them in the justice system.”
 
Biden is also considering Judge Merrick Garland, who was denied a seat on the Supreme Court in 2016 by the Republican-led Senate, for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and Sally Yates, a former deputy attorney general, sources said.

Report: Four Philadelphia city council members push for police budget cuts – despite city violence and looting

November 4, 2020

 

PHILADELPHIA, PA – On Friday, October 30th, four first-term City Council members vowed during an online call with political activists, to continue pushing for budget cuts to the Philadelphia Police Department.

 

The council members, Isaiah Thomas, Katherine Gilmore Richardson, Jamie Gauthier, and Kendra Brooks pledged their support during a week that saw more than 200 stores looted in reaction to the recent officer-involved fatal shooting of Walter Wallace Jr.

 

According to reports, the same group of council members pushed for significant cuts in June, but were unsuccessful. The initial article, which was reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote that Gauthier said:

“Every councilmember on this call was on board for a higher level of cut to the police than we had. We couldn’t get enough to get the votes that we needed. I think we have to figure out where we’re cutting from and also what we’re investing in. I think we have to be very clear about that.”

 

In June, shortly after George Floyd’s death in Minnesota, the Philadelphia City Council nixed a $19 million budget increase for the police, and moved $14 million in existing funds away from the police budget. Police union leader John McNesby urged city leaders to show greater support for the city’s police department.

 

Proposing budget cuts to the police department was not the only method councilmembers used in an effort to limit the police department’s ability to maintain order. On October 29th, the City Council, in a 14-3 vote, approved a ban on police use of tear gas, rubber bullets, and pepper spray against demonstrators. 

 

The proposal’s sponsor, councilwoman Helen Gym, said that residents had complained of having tear gas and rubber bullets used against them without warning during protests in May and June. Gym claimed that the alleged actions by police during those protests “undid years of collaboration and work” between police and local communities in building trust.

Republican Councilmembers David Oh and Brian J. O’Neill, along with Democrat Bobby Henon voted against the proposal. The virtual council meeting grew tense when Oh suggested that tear gas is appropriate for protesters who block traffic or refuse to disperse, even if it gets inside the homes of residents who are not involved.

He said:

“Better their homes have tear gas than be set on fire.”

 

This legislation has been sent to Mayor Jim Kenney, whose administration supports the intent of the bill. If Kenney signs the bill, the police department would have to write a policy defining what would be classified as protected actions.

Reportedly, the legislation is not an “all-inclusive” on the use of less-than-lethal devices, but would bar the use on “any individuals engaging in First Amendment activities.”

In a recent officer-involved fatal shooting, two officers shot Wallace after he charged at them while brandishing a knife. Authorities said that neither officer had a taser as they have been working to get more funding so that all officers can be properly suited with the tools to do their job.

McNesby said:

“We’re calling on the city leadership to release the facts of this case. It’s not hard. It’s cut-and-dry. Release what you have. Support your officers, back your officers and let’s get a handle on this thing.”

 

Reportedly, city leaders said that police body camera footage and 911 recordings linked to the Wallace shooting would be made public on Wednesday, November 4th per an arrangement approved by them and by the members of the Wallace family. 

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