Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Philly Violence

Kids, Guns and a Deadly Toll - Inquirer

"He smacked her in the face three times, and she said: 'If you hit me again, I'm going to kill you.' " Tysheka Moore, witness to violence

My city is swimming in blood. Violence has become so pervasive and out of control we're beginning to resemble Iraq. Nothing and nobody seems able to stop the bloodshed.

Of course it's happening primarily in poor neighborhoods. People are killing and maiming each other every day without realizing they themselves are the ultimate victims.

Their reasons range from the tragedy of domestic abuse to the idiocy of 'you took my place in line.' But most fall under the category of no reason other than a culture overwhelmed by rage and frustration, underscored by violence.

Here's one from the tragic column.

A man and his child's mother stand in the street arguing while neighbors watch. He hits her face over and over and over.

Finally she threatens to kill him, goes inside, comes out and dares him to hit her again.

He hits her again. She slits his throat with a knife. While her children watch.

He's dead. She's gone. One child lost a father, others will lose a mother. Each by the other's hand.
According to police, it's an all too typical story. That particular night, two more people were killed, five gunned down and hospitalized, all within four hours. From the Phila Daily News:
11:38 p.m. [A] man, who already been told by the tattoo artist on several separate occasions to return when he was less busy, got angry when he again was turned away. [He] brandished a handgun and blasted ... another customer, 21 during the argument and fled.

At midnight, an 18-year-old man was shot once in the back at 40th and Market streets in University City. He remained in stable condition at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania yesterday.

At 12:56 a.m., a 19-year-old man was shot once in the right hip on Rittenhouse Street near Osceola. He remained in stable condition at Albert Einstein Medical Center yesterday.

Two minutes later, a 30-year-old was shot once in the neck on 23rd Street near Tasker in South Philadelphia. He remained in stable condition at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

At 1:34 a.m., a 55-year-old man was shot twice in the left calf on Stafford Street near Chew Avenue. He remained in stable condition at Einstein yesterday.

At 2:17 a.m., a 23-year-old man was shot once in the right foot on Louden Street near Broad in Logan. He remained in stable condition at Einstein yesterday.
Open a newspaper, turn on the news, check out the online versions, not one day goes by in Philadelphia without multiple violent crimes: shootings, stabbings, rapes, assaults, home invasions ... you name it, Philly's got it.

The latest trend is rec center violence, adults spraying bullets all over what should be urban children's ultimate save havens. In Philly, nobody's safe anywhere.

It's gotten so bad, the Phila Inquirer has dedicated a complete new section to the history, statistics, repercussions and heartbreaking stories of Philly's reign of Violence.

Btw, the Philadelphia homicide toll for 2007 is currently 259. But that will have increased before you got to this closing sentence. Because my city is drowning in blood.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember that guy from the rec center blasting the police for not helping. When are they planning to step up?

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No body will talk. It's so bad I'm afraid for my kids. They only think it doesn't hit them they are wrong.

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your blog, as I read your words I pictured what you were saying. The only thing is you didn't offer any solution. Is there any? I live in one of the safest cities in the Nation. My heart goes out to those who lost a loved one and to those that are just lost. We need solutions.

5:02 PM  

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