Mayor, community activists respond to rise in gun violence in Philly

Antionette Lee
June 23, 2019 - 2:03 pm
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney hit the streets this weekend with a task force hoping to get a grip on crime in the city, but will it help?

Antionette Lee/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney hit the streets this weekend with a task force hoping to get a grip on crime in the city, but will it help? 

The streets were quiet near the intersection of 24th and Moore streets in Point Breeze Sunday morning. But a few hours earlier, shots rang out through those same streets, leaving four people injured, including one critically.
  
"Children learn by example," said resident William Porter, who said he's lived in the neighborhood almost all of his life.

"If you don't set an example, they have nothing to look forward to," he added.

A neighbor on the same street who wished to remain anonymous was cleaning glass fragments out of her van from a bullet that went through her front windshield Saturday night. She said it was sad to see young people in the neighborhood succumbing to gun violence, and pointed to the lack of jobs and opportunities as a problem.

Related: 'Speak up': Community groups rally against recent gun violence in Philly

Just this weekend, more than seven people were shot. In response to the recent uptick in violence, Kenney hit West Philadelphia streets with the Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network (PAAN) on Saturday. 

The group promotes community safety through offering job training and educational opportunities to at-risk youth.

"I wanna make sure that they understand that we have their back and we want to make sure that people in this community and other communities know that the governor cares about what's going on and we want to try to stop it and reverse this trend," Kenney said. 

According to the Philadelphia police website, as of Sunday, there were 154 homicide victims for this year, which is up eight percent from this time last year.