PHILADELPHIA - Lendale Rodgers stood in the park where her 15-year-old daughter was shot and killed last year and listened while members of Congress pressed for more federal money to support law enforcement.
Simone Monea Rodgers was shot in the head in August while playing basketball with friends in North Philadelphia's Jerome Brown Playground. Four members of Congress appeared there today to push for the Victim Act, a bill that would set up a one billion dollar grant program in the U.S. Department of Justice to help police solve cases and support victims.
"Our police need more help to solve these types of cases. We need to get these shooters off the street. This is a national problem," Philadelphia Representative Dwight Evans said.
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Evans was joined by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, who supports the legislation and argues it would allow her department to hire more cops.
"We not only need detectives to investigate cases, we also need more officers involved in crime prevention", she said.
The bill is a long way from approval, but it is a sure sign the spike in violent crime in the county during the pandemic has caught the attention of members of Congress who are reacting with spending proposals.
Rodgers told the elected officials when she asked for money to relocate from her North Philadelphia neighborhood she was offered only $2k. When asked if she heard anything today that she believed would work to decrease crime she said no, but she was hopeful and was placing her faith in God.