The biggest question that I discuss with my listeners on an almost daily basis is, what will it take to get people in Philadelphia to reject the progressive ideology that has led to an incredible poverty rate and a staggering homicide rate that, per capita, is the highest in the country. The homicide rate is so overwhelming and frightening I sometimes can convince myself that it might matter.
However, so far it doesn’t appear that the incredible murder rate has mattered. Philadelphia is on track to exceed 550 murders. The murders are happening often in very public places and in broad daylight. Some have even happened in Center City and areas frequented by tourists. We have already set records this year for women killed and children killed. What must happen before there is a tipping point against the leaders and policies that are fueling this?
Maybe there are people in positions of power that are afraid that the sheer volume of murders might have an impact. Steve Keeley of Fox 29, who is a frequent guest on my show, reported this week that police sources tell him that some well-positioned police officers believe Philadelphia might have already had many more than the reported 400 murders. A knowledgeable police source tells me the same thing. The reason is that there are 140 people on a list of suspicious deaths. There is a suspicion that there is a reluctance to count these deaths as homicides.
I’m glad Keeley has exposed this and maybe the media will keep a sharp eye on these deaths. I’d also like to see the local TV news stations post the number of homicides in Philadelphia on the screen as they did with COVID deaths. The newspapers should do the same thing in a box on the front page.
The other indicator of mounting pressure over the homicide rate in Philadelphia is the hiring of two-armed private security guards to patrol Germantown Avenue from Wister to Logan by a mosque called the Germantown Masjid. The reason for this at least 10 people have been shot around the 4900 block of Germantown Avenue in the last month. Residents in the area told 6 ABC News they have seen a very good change in the area since the patrols have begun.
There has been no comment on these patrols from any public officials. Why not? Do they support this? Should we see more of this in the city? I take it as an encouraging sign that citizens might start to see that the policies of people like District Attorney Larry Krasner have been the most significant factor in the killing fields of Philadelphia. I hope they see that we need at least several hundred more cops, and we need to return to the stop and frisk policies that police had used in a constitutional and effective manner in the past.
Mayor Jim Kenney is the key player in all of this. He recently negotiated and supported a reasonable new three-year deal with the police. He has sparred with Krasner, but he needs to use his bully pulpit to directly challenge him. Finally, he needs to replace Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw that he hired from Portland. She has not articulated an effective strategy to lower the murder rate and has not shown the will needed to fight this crisis.
So, I see some hopeful signs in the last few weeks of lessening the chaos and carnage that have overtaken Philadelphia. As far as changing the progressive Democratic leadership, Bernard Samuel, the last Philadelphia Republican mayor was born when Billy the Kid was still alive. We are overdue for that kind of change.