Gun violence frustration leads to possible solutions, city leaders say

Another violent wave plagued Philadelphia over the weekend, leaving many who live and work in the city, as well as those charged with protecting residents, very frustrated.

“I’m too old to have foolishness,” said Philadelphia resident Alice Davis-Palmer.

55 years on a Kingsessing block, but leftover yellow tape from a deadly quadruple shooting Sunday is a reminder for Davis-Palmer that she may not stick around for many more.

“My grandson wants to get a truck. He wants to pull up a truck and move me out,” Davis-Palmer stated.

The frustration doesn’t stop with the community, as the city is on pace to have 500 murders in 2020, the highest number in one year since 1990.

Some of Philadelphia Police Department’s top leaders are voicing their concerns on social media, describing the violence as another epidemic and accountability if repeat offenders of gun violence.

“When you arrest someone for a gun and it’s their third or fourth time and they’re getting bail for $40,000 or $50,000, sometimes signing themselves out without having to do anything and they’re back out on the street, the community deserves better,” Inspector Derrick Wood, with Southeast Police Division, explained.

“I think that people begin to think that they can get away with whatever they want to get away with and I think we need to change that,” Commanding Officer of 12th District Captain Scott Drissel commented.

“It just needs to improve. The city council hearings today I think are the first step,” Captain Matthew Gillespie of the 18th District, stated.

Captain Gillespie is relieved the topic was front and center during City Council’s special committee on gun violence prevention Monday.

With testimony from the public and Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, who echoed some of their concerns.

One on-going solution Commissioner Outlaw point to – a joint task force with the District Attorney’s officer, where both groups will sit down weekly to discuss gun violence cases coming in.

District Attorney Larry Krasner noted in their review of 400 gun violence cases that didn’t make it to the finish line, almost 75 percent had civilian witnesses that didn’t make it to court, or the evidence was weak and the cases were thrown out.

“If a case is weak, that’s not necessarily a criticism of the police or a criticism of this office, but it is a way we can try to do better,” DA Krasner noted.

“Like the commissioner said, if the police department could do something better to assist the courts and the DA’s office, we’re certainly going to do that,” Captain Gillespie stated.


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