Philadelphia mayor criticizes state legislature as city nears homicide milestone

Philadelphia recorded its 499 homicide in 2021 on Tuesday, and authorities predicted that the number will likely exceed 500 before the end of the year. The Philadelphia Investigator reported.

The murder rate in the city is 13 percent higher than at the same time last year, according to official data from the Philadelphia Police Department and, according to the Inquirer, 55 percent more than in 2019. The number of homicides so far this year has also surpassed the totals for 2013 and 2014 combined.

Philadelphia leaders celebrated a press conference Wednesday to address the growing gun violence crisis in the city following the death of the most recent victim, Sykea Patton, who was 24 years old.

Patton was shot in front of her five-year-old twin sons on Friday afternoon.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney described Patton’s death as a “cowardly and heartbreaking shooting.”

“Personally, I am heartbroken and outraged that we have lost 500 Philadelphians, including many of our children and teens, to unnecessary violence this year,” Kenney said, adding that the current gun violence crisis in the city it is deeply “unsettling and painful.”

“I never stop thinking about the victims and their families and the incredible loss that these senseless deaths leave,” he said.

The last time the city reached 500 homicides was in 1990, during the crack cocaine epidemic, the Inquirer reported.

On Wednesday, Kenney blamed the increase in the murder rate on the number of guns in the city.

“The volume of weapons in circulation in our communities is at a record level. [Crime guns] join a sea of ​​illegal and legal guns that are accessible in the heat of the moment, turning what could have been an argument into a homicide, “said Kenney.

In addition, he pointed to cities such as Boston and New York, which reduced gun violence by enacting gun control laws.

“With all the problems we face in our society, be it guns, opioids, heroin, whatever the problem is, it’s all about greed. There are people who make money making these guns, selling these guns, and the legislature, not the people behind me, don’t care. They don’t care how many people die. It’s ridiculous, “Kenney said Wednesday.

“Cities like Boston and New York that are not dealing with this problem the way that we are dealing with it? They are strict with Massachusetts laws, they are strict with New York state laws and we need to have some semblance of that? ”He continued.

Kenney criticized the Republican-controlled state legislature, which he said prevented him from implementing necessary gun control measures in Philadelphia.

“The Pennsylvania General Assembly must allow us to enact reasonable controls on firearms in our city. Until this happens, we will continue to work tirelessly in response to the crisis, ”he said.

In addition to the 499 homicides, Philadelphia has shot more than 2,000 people this year, a 5 percent increase from the same point in 2020, according to the Inquirer.



Reference-thehill.com

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