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Philly Schools Closed Indefinitely, Chromebook Program; 5 Shot in North Philly; Kenney Gun Violence
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 03/31/20 4:45 pm | updated: 03/31/20 4:45 pm
The School District of Philadelphia has announced that schools will be closed indefinitely. Superintendent William Hite said in a statement, "Safeguarding the health and well-being of our students, our staff and the broader Philadelphia community is our highest priority. We will continue to work closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and other agencies to determine when it will be safe to reopen our schools." You can read his full statement at:

Hite also addressed the Chromebook loner program for K-12 students. The computers will become available for students who need a computer for learning at home. The program is free and students do not have to participate. He said that there is nothing to do at this time and that school principals will notify families about the date/time students can pick them up at their school. Computers must be returned when school reopens. If you already have access to a computer at home for learning, you are asked to let others less fortunate participate in the program. For more information about the program go to:

Philadelphia Police are investigating after 5 people were shot, including a toddler, at a family gathering in North Philadelphia on Monday night, 3/30. It happened just after 10 p.m. on the 2000 block of West Harold Street in Strawberry Mansion. The family had gathered for a birthday celebration for a man who had recently died apparently in another shooting. Authorities say that the family shouldn't have been congregating in the first place due to the stay-at-home order and social distancing guidelines, but that isn't the issue at hand. The gunman was wearing dark clothing and fired into the group of people from a half-block away.

A 1-year-old boy was shot in the back and is in critical condition at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children. His 18-year-old mother was shot multiple times and his in critical condition. A 14-year-old girl was shot and is also in critical condition. A 25-year-old woman was hit twice in the leg and a 42-year-old woman suffered a graze wound to the arm. They were all taken to Temple University Hospital. No arrests have been made. Anyone with any information should call police at 215-686-TIPS.

On Tuesday, 3/31, Mayor Kenney called out District Attorney Larry Krasner to come down harder on gun crime in the city. "We are calling on the district attorney to vigorously enforce all firearm-related charges during this time of crisis," Kenney said. "It is imperative that we send a clear message: Gun violence will not be taken lightly. That is a message the DA can reinforce in his office's handling of all such cases going forward. There needs to be some consequences for carrying an illegal gun in Philadelphia. Especially if you're a convicted felon, there should be a consequence. We're all about criminal justice reform and we've been doing that for the last four-plus years. But in this particular time of crisis, if you're carrying a gun illegally, you need to be locked up and kept there."

UPDATE: The District Attorney's Office responded:

"To repeat: the DAO has vigorously prosecuted and has not declined to charge a single individual arrested by police during the COVID-19 emergency for a shooting, homicide, or other violent crime.

The DAO has declined to charge 11 individuals for lesser offenses during this time period, mostly due to insufficient evidence to proceed.

District Attorney Krasner is grateful for Police Commissioner Outlaw's leadership during this crisis, and for her assurances that officers and detectives will take special precautions while protecting their own health to preserve and record evidence for prosecutions that proceed through the courts remotely now, as well as for prosecutions that proceed through the courts normally after the health emergency ends.

District Attorney Krasner continues to urge the Kenney Administration to provide appropriate resources to ensure street cameras, forensics, and other evidence testing and crime prevention functions continue uninterrupted throughout this health emergency."

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