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The Post  
Plane Lands on Ocean City Causeway; Police Looking for 4 Suspects; Kenney: No Violence Declaration
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 07/19/21 11:20 pm | updated: 07/21/21 3:35 pm
A banner plane experiencing engine trouble made an emergency landing in Cape May County, NJ, Monday afternoon, 7/19. It happened around 12:40 p.m. on the 9th Street Bridge between Ocean City and Somers Point. 18-year-old Landon Lucas was flying the aircraft for Paramount Air Service when he began to have engine trouble near Steel Pier in Atlantic City. He released the banner into the ocean and attempted to make his way back to Ocean City Municipal Airport. When he reached the Route 52 Causeway he saw a gap in traffic and landed in the westbound lanes of the bridge. No one was injured and there was no damage to the plane, bridge, or other vehicles. The wings will have to be removed so the plane can be towed. An investigation in underway.

Philadelphia Police have released surveillance video of four suspects wanted in the shooting death of a woman in Kensington last month. It happened at 4:22 p.m. June 28 on the 200 block of E. Cambria Street. The 21-year-old victim was found suffering from a gun shot wound to her stomanch. She was taken to Temple University Hospital where she was pronounced dead. The suspects are described as three Black females and one Black males in their 20s. They were operating a silver Jeep Cherokee with tinted windows. It has Pennsylvania license plates LRW-5401. There is a $20,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction. If you have any information, call police at 215.686.TIPS (8477) or text a tip to 215.686.TIPS (8477).

SEE ALSO: Wanted: Suspects for Homicide in the 24th District

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney does not believe that an emergency or disaster declaration for Philadelphia's gun violence problem is the right solution. He wrote to Councilmember Jamie Gauthier on Monday, 7/19, saying, "I agree with you that the public deserved greater transparency and communication about the administration's commitment to anti-violence and I’m pleased that these are now occurring. But, after serious consideration, I believe the simple declaration of some emergency or disaster akin to that signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the state of New York is not a solution that will demonstrably change conditions in Philadelphia for several reasons."

Those reasons include: $150 million in additional resources allocated towards violence reduction in the 2022 fiscal year; the continued coordinated 'Roadmap to Safer Communities' response to citywide violence released in 2019; and discussions with President Biden "on the urgent need for new and enhanced approaches" to the ongoing violence.

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner repeated his calls to get rid of cash bail on Monday, hoping it would keep repeat offenders in jail. "Until then, my office is going to be begging a bunch of judges and a bunch of bail commissioners to do something they're not used to doing, which is applying high bails," Krasner said. Krasner has been calling to end cash bail his entire term, but that is so that poor offenders don't get stuck in jail not able to afford bond even on small offenses.

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(2) responses


 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 07/21 3:34 pm
Read Mayor Jim Kenney's Letter to City Councilmember Gauthier:

Dear Councilmember Gauthier:

I write today in response to your call for the declaration of a gun violence emergency for the City of Philadelphia. I wholeheartedly welcome contributions and ideas to help solve the epidemic of gun violence impacting Philadelphia. Your feedback was a key reason that our administration began bi-weekly public briefings about the epidemic, similar in format to our briefings on COVID-19. I agree with you that the public deserved greater transparency and communication about the administration's commitment to anti-violence and I'm pleased that these are now occurring. But, after serious consideration I believe the simple declaration of some emergency or disaster akin to that signed by Governor Andrew
Cuomo for the state of New York is not a solution that will demonstrably change conditions in Philadelphia for several reasons.

First, calls for a disaster or emergency declaration are intended to unlock additional resources, but the City of Philadelphia is already doing by this allocating over $150 million in the FY22 budget that was just approved. This money is independent of the hundreds of millions of dollars the City already spends on solving some of the deeper root causes of violence. The funding does include over $20 million in money for community-based organizations working to intercede and stop violence before it occurs, and substantial new funding for job opportunities for those at the highest risk of committing or being a victim of violence. A call for an emergency declaration may be better directed toward unlocking more state resources like Andrew Cuomo allocated $139 million in new funding for gun violence prevention across the state of New York. The City would welcome additional state resources and changes to regulations that stem access and the flow of illegal guns. I have discussed this with the Governor directly, and my Administration is working closely with Attorney General Shapiro on the issue of illegal guns.

Secondly, it has been said that an emergency declaration would allow for a more coordinated response to gun violence. The reality is that our Administration has been working to address violence in a coordinated fashion for several years, dating back to the release of the first Roadmap to Safer Communities in 2019, with further refinement with the updated Roadmap release this past April. Every week I meet with a team of officials from the Philadelphia Police Department, Managing Director's Office, Office of Children and Families, Philadelphia Department of Public Health, and other departments to hear directly about our on the ground work and our progress and setbacks. On a weekly basis there is coordination amongst operating departments and social service agencies, led by the Managing Director's Office, the Roadmap Tactical meetings are real-time problem-solving efforts in areas most vulnerable to gun violence. Additionally, our Administration is leading a collaborative approach to violence that includes working with other agencies not under my authority, including the District Attorney and the First Judicial District. Make no mistake that are always areas for improvement. In fact, we are planning to deepen the Philadelphia Department of Public Health's coordination and reporting role in the updated Roadmap because we believe a public health approach with an epidemiological lens will bolster the impact of the initiatives underway. That said, a disaster or emergency declaration would have no discernible impact on strengthening what is already a highly collaborative and innovative approach to addressing this public health crisis.

Next, it has been said that an emergency declaration would draw more attention to this issue and allow for a greater response from other governmental or non-governmental partners. The reality is that the gun violence epidemic is impacting cities across the country, and Philadelphia is participating in every opportunity to learn and share with our peers. I have spoken personally with President Biden on the urgent need for new and enhanced approaches, and Philadelphia is participating in the White House's Community Violence Intervention (CVI) Collaborative. We are participating in national networks, like Cities United, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, and the National Coalition for Gun Violence Interventions. I have also joined Attorney General Shapiro, DA Krasner, and Commissioner Outlaw in calling for enhanced firearms trafficking resources be sent to Philadelphia to help us stem the flow of illegal guns into our City and the hands of those willing to commit violence. An emergency or disaster declaration would not change the direction of this work.

Local government leaders across America are doing everything we can within our powers to bring resources, coordination and attention to the epidemic of gun violence that continues to spread like a disease across our nation. Together we must all keep working on solutions to invest in and heal communities hurt by gun violence and resist the temptation to issue statements that will not have the desired impact. I look forward to your continued partnership on this front.


James F. Kenney


 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 07/21 3:35 pm
Read Councilmember Jamie Gauthier's Response:

"Late yesterday, by way of a letter to my office, Mayor Kenney made it known that he will not execute an emergency response to Philadelphia's worsening gun violence crisis. This is an insult to the residents of my district and people across our city who have been traumatized by the violence in their neighborhoods, and it's an extreme disappointment to all of us who have been advocating for a more urgent response from the Kenney Administration on this matter.

"Nearly a year has passed since City Council unanimously adopted Resolution 200447, which presents a detailed set of proposed steps that our city could take - such as greater speed and transparency on the implementation of gun violence prevention initiatives, enhanced coordination among relevant City agencies, and leveraging the resources of Philadelphia's dynamic business community - in order to treat this crisis with the urgency it deserves, and invest more in tackling it from a public health perspective.

"For the Mayor to offer such a flippant, tone-deaf response to our call for action after so much time has gone by, and so many people have been injured or killed, is simply unconscionable.

"The Mayor's letter did nothing to address the reality of what people in my district are grappling with on a daily basis. To give you a sense: in the last two weeks alone, there was a mass shooting on 60th Street, where two people died; a mass shooting this past Friday at Bartram's Village, where one of the five victims was a 14-year-old girl; a shooting at a corner store on Saturday where a one-year-old baby was shot in his mother's arms, as she shopped for groceries; on Sunday, a triple shooting at 53rd and Market, and a triple shooting in Kingsessing; and a triple shooting last night in Mill Creek. These incidents don't just affect shooters and victims. They inflict trauma on everyone who lives nearby, who have to contend with the daily reality of unrelenting violence in their backyards.

"It is inconceivable to me that Mayor Kenney would take the stance that he is currently doing enough to address this crisis, as his letter lays out. If he really believes that's true, then he needs to work much harder to prove it. Because from the vantage point of people on the ground in violence-plagued neighborhoods, many of whom are afraid to leave their homes and go about their daily lives, things are getting worse - not better."

"We also must acknowledge that it's Black people who are bearing the brunt of this epidemic. The idea of our city using 'Black Lives Matter' as a slogan, but not treating our gun violence crisis as a priority turns this powerful statement into a farce. If this level of violence were happening in white neighborhoods, I am certain Mayor Kenney would move hell and high water to bring it to an end as quickly as possible.

"The effort for a citywide emergency declaration on gun violence was never about a symbolic gesture. It was about harnessing the collective power of our city to fight this deadly crisis, and doing so with an urgency that reflects how much we care about the wellbeing of Philadelphians. I am beyond disheartened by this outcome, but it won't weaken my resolve. I will not stop fighting for justice for our neighborhoods until safety is restored to our streets."

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