May 25, 2012 |
NEW YORK Mayor Michael Bloomberg took a shot at the New York Times on Thursday and threw Philadelphia under the bus in the process. Responding to an editorial in the Times that called Philadelphia's court-ordered stop-and-frisk policy more enlightened than the Big Apple's, Bloomberg fired back. "Why would any rational person want to trade what we have here for the situation in Philadelphia?" Bloomberg told New York TV station NY1. "More murders? Higher crime?" Bloomberg pointed out that after Philadelphia was sued by the American Civil Liberties Union and entered into a consent degree to make changes to the stop-and-frisk policy, murders and other violent crime went up. "Now, Philadelphia is a great city, but it has the highest murder rate of any of the 10 largest cities in the country, and the number of murders is going up," he said.
May 11, 2012 |
It occurred in front of a stone twin along a tranquil street with the pastoral name Parkview Road, but this was not a typical suburban crime. A 25-year-old man was ambushed shortly after midnight by someone who lay in wait in the bushes, shot him seven times, and left him to fight for his life. His 4-year-old daughter and her mother were in the house at the time. Then again, it happened in Upper Darby Township, Delaware County, which is no typical suburb, and in the view of its sometimes controversial police chief, Michael Chitwood, not a suburb at all. "Upper Darby really is a city," said Chitwood, who oversees the $24 million annual police budget in a township of 82,000-plus people.
April 23, 2012 |
Brandishing a .45-caliber automatic, the 6-foot-1 figure raced at full gallop away from pursuing police officers, crisscrossing the maze of trolley tracks at the 69th Street Terminal. Hours later, not far away, a would-be stickup man died in a Wild West-style shootout. Just another quiet night on the edge of Philadelphia in Upper Darby Township. Crime is down nationwide, according to various analysts, but as a Brookings Institution study has noted, border towns have not enjoyed the same level of pacification as their big-city neighbors.
April 11, 2012 |
Higher bail for gun-related offenses has led to a slight spike in Philadelphia's prison population in recent months, officials told City Council Wednesday. Louis Giorla, commissioner of prisons said the population has increased 4 percent from 7,935 last fiscal year to 8,253 this year. That includes a 22 percent increase, about 200 people, who could not make bail for violent gun offenses. "What we're seeing is a shift in those - the more violent, repeat offenders who were out on the streets, making bail and perhaps dodging the system are now being confined," Giorla told Council during yesterday's budget hearing, adding that bail for gun-related cases is higher.
April 1, 2012 |
Numbers produce an image of a city's place in time. For Philadelphia in 2012, the picture is of a city in transition on a number of fronts. There are familiar problems and one promising demographic trend. In the last year, unemployment in the city was down, but job creation slowed from the year before. Residential building permits were up, but home sales dropped a sixth straight time. Violent crime fell overall, while the homicide total increased for the second year in a row. One positive sign for the city's future, as reported in a new statistical analysis by Pew's Philadelphia Research Initiative, is that the number of young adults in Philadelphia has risen substantially in recent years.
March 16, 2012 |
CAIRO - Egypt's top prosecutor charged nine senior police officers Thursday with assisting a murderous mob of soccer fans who killed 74 rival supporters last month after a match in the Mediterranean city of Port Said. Many accuse police of looking the other way while violent crime has spiked in the year since Hosni Mubarak's ouster in an uprising. But the charges in the Port Said riot went a step further, alleging that police actually aided the perpetrators of the world's worst soccer-related disaster in 15 years.
February 15, 2012 |
A NEW POLL HOLDS good news and bad news for Mayor Nutter and Philadelphia in his second term. The Pew Charitable Trusts poll released yesterday showed that the approval rating for Nutter's job performance is on the rise, even as residents express growing concerns about crime, education and the economy. Nutter's approval rating increased to 60 percent, up from 52 percent in a Pew poll last year. That was helped by a 10-percentage-point increase in his approval rating among African-Americans, with whom his numbers have previously been less than stellar.
January 30, 2012
MAYOR NUTTER has a lot to worry about, but nothing is more immediately pressing than the disturbing rise in homicides in the city. As of yesterday, 32 people had been murdered; that number is higher than the 29 homicides on the same date in 2007, the last year of the Street administration. Nutter announced last week a number of measures to combat violent crime, including increasing bounties for criminals -up to $20,000 for information leading to the arrestsand convictions in homicide cases, and $500 for the arrest and conviction of anyone carrying an illegal gun. We want to feel assured by these efforts, and indeed, taken individually, the program's elements make sense.
January 18, 2012 |
This year began bloody and deadly, 20 murders by Martin Luther King Day, only 16 days into 2012. Along with improving education, crime reduction is one of Mayor Nutter's core missions for his second term. "When those spikes hit, we're going to acknowledge, 'Yep, we have a problem.' We're not going to walk away from the people. We can't be dissuaded that when crime spikes it will remain that way," said Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Everett Gillison, Nutter's point man on crime.
January 16, 2012 |
A 23-year-old Temple University graduate, hailing a cab after leaving a bar with friends, is beaten to death in Old City. Three teenagers are killed as a man fires directly into a car in Juniata Park. A hockey fan from New Jersey is pummeled until he lies unconscious outside Geno's cheesesteak restaurant in South Philadelphia. What, if anything, do these events - all in the new year - say about war and peace in Philadelphia? Who, if anyone, can make sense of such utterly senseless violence?