October 16, 2015 |
Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey couldn't stand the thought of burying another one of his own. It was March, and he had long been thinking of retirement, ever since Mayor Nutter had won reelection. Even then, he had been "95 percent sure. " His career was at an apex - there had been presidential appointments, and prominent positions on national policing boards, and an unprecedented drop in homicides in a city once dubbed "Killadelphia. " And now he was eulogizing Sgt. Robert Wilson III, gunned down in a robbery gone wrong, the eighth officer he had laid to rest.
August 8, 2015 |
Arrests by Philadelphia police dropped by 16 percent during the first half of 2015, the biggest plunge in six years, records show. And during the same period, all crime - including violent felonies, misdemeanors, and property offenses - increased by 5 percent, according to the latest data posted on the Police Department's website. Through June, police recorded 5,661 fewer arrests than they did in the first half of last year. Police made 34,786 arrests during the first six months of 2014; this year, 29,125.
August 5, 2015 |
YOU COULD BE forgiven for thinking Philadelphia's biggest problems have been limited recently to pope fences, a dismembered traveling robot and Chip Kelly's roster moves. Violent-crime numbers - a quality-of-life measurement temporarily forgotten in the basement of the city's consciousness - have been climbing. As of Sunday night, 152 murders had been recorded - a 5 percent increase from the same point last year, when the tally stood at 141, according to police statistics. The number of Philadelphians who have been shot has risen 9 percent, hovering at 627 victims as of last Monday, compared to 572 at the same time last year.
July 21, 2015 |
Melissa Murray Bailey, the Republican nominee for mayor of Philadelphia, was running a low-key campaign in a sleepy race. That all changed two weeks ago when Bailey began staking out positions on issues, including some with a national profile. Drawing national attention could help Bailey's campaign, which as of last month had raised less than $10,000, in the race against Democratic nominee Jim Kenney, who had more than 12 times that much campaign cash in the bank as of June 8. Bailey, in one of her campaign's first official statements, said she would not continue Philadelphia's status as a so-called Sanctuary City if she won. "Providing a safe harbor in Philadelphia for illegal immigrants who commit violent crimes is the wrong choice," Bailey said.
May 20, 2015 |
The Camden police read to children, enjoy the trust of the community, and match "courage with compassion," President Obama said Monday. "More like the Peace Corps," Chief Scott Thomson said. Or, the department is overly aggressive and risking escalating tensions, the American Civil Liberties Union says. Two years after it was formed, drawing controversy as it replaced Camden's old police department, the county-run force still arouses strong feelings on either side. Crime statistics - sharp drops in homicides, robberies, and other major offenses - allow the department and its boosters to claim that its community-policing strategies are making the city safer.
April 18, 2015 |
It was a drug deal gone bad, authorities said. A man tried to rip off Justin Parrott, 19, during the deal, causing Parrott to pull out a gun, shoot at him twice, and chase him, authorities said. Parrott then pistol-whipped the man and bit his ear "almost completely off," according to a report on the March 3 incident in Deptford. The U.S. Marshals Service, which filed the report, took the case after Deptford police asked for assistance in finding Parrott. The marshals discovered him in Virginia.
April 12, 2015 |
The Delaware River delineates a national gun divide. On one side, a young mother decided her best defense against violent crime was to buy a gun - no doubt the remedy envisioned by state legislators who have sought to punish her hometown, Philadelphia, for any attempt at gun control. But carrying the weapon across the river got her weeks in jail and, but for a belated outbreak of prosecutorial restraint, years in prison with the criminals she was hoping to fend off. Gov. Christie's recent pardon of Shaneen Allen ended her ordeal a year and a half later, but not before she became a cause célèbre for gun-rights activists and a challenge to gun-control advocates.
April 10, 2015 |
A SELF-DESCRIBED pastor who participated in the kidnapping of mentally disabled victims - including four found malnourished in a locked Tacony basement in 2011 - pleaded guilty yesterday to all federal charges against him. A gray-haired Eddie Wright, 54, walked into the courtroom wearing glasses, dressed in a baggy forest-green prison jumpsuit. "How are you?" his attorney, Brendan McGuigan, asked. "Pretty good," Wright replied. Wright was one of five defendants federally indicted in a scheme that authorities allege was led by Linda Ann Weston, in which the defendants conspired to kidnap, beat and keep captive mentally disabled victims to bilk them of their Social Security benefits.
January 7, 2015 |
PHILADELPHIA ended the year with 248 murders, just one higher than in 2013, when the city saw a historic low of 247, according to crime statistics touted yesterday by Mayor Nutter. Nutter noted that the 2014 murder total represented a nearly 37 percent drop from 2007, the year before he took office, when 391 were slain. The mayor credited the decrease in murders - and a decline in shootings and violent crime overall - to the leadership of Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, the diligence of his officers and a collaboration between police and community activists to fight crime.
December 18, 2014
GUN-CONTROL zealots like Helen Ubiñas don't miss a beat when it comes to exploiting tragedy. Here's a more accurate breakdown: Of the 30,000 "deaths by gun," more than two-thirds are suicides. Not much we can do about this; if guns had any link to suicide rates, Japan would have the lowest suicide rate in the world instead of one of the highest. Of the 10,000 or so homicides by gun, the vast majority are criminal-on-criminal or likely self-defense homicides. Studies have shown consistently that at least three-fourths of homicide victims (regardless of weapon)