The mainstream media cannot ignore the obvious spike in violent crime in Philadelphia; criminals there are getting increasingly more brazen in their disregard for authority by the day. What the mainstream media is ignoring, however, is the cause of the spike in violent crime – increasingly youthful perpetrators, and a police force that is unable to combat the new crime wave striking the city. While youth crime in the past few years has been limited to flash mobs and random attacks, a new wave of violent crime is showing that teenagers aren’t limited with casual violence or late hours anymore, and are getting increasingly brazen with their own criminal behavior.
Of course, it is hardly surprising to see crime in the most violent neighborhoods of Philadelphia. Temple University is located in North Philadelphia, one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the city, yet somehow, the University does not allow students to carry concealed weapons anywhere on its campus. While crime on the Temple campus is considerably lower than the surrounding areas, and the campus itself has a lot of security, a recent flash mob attack demonstrates that not only can the cops not be everywhere all at once, even the officers themselves are not off limits to being attacked by flash mobs. Wouldn’t you think it is necessary to acknowledge youth crime when kids are attacking officers and punching police horses?
“Her head was stomped on. The whole side of her face, the back of her head was black and blue. Her arms, her legs, her back, her ribs. She was on the ground. They were kicking her,” Lauletta said.
Two police officers were assaulted and a police horse punched in the face.
“It was crazy. They were just jumping random people,” said sophomore Sebastian Brennan.
Investigators say it all started on social media with a call to meet up at the Pearl Theater, but so many showed up they couldn’t get in. So instead, they split off into groups… dead set on starting trouble.
The university sent out an alert, but some students and parents told us they thought it came too late.
“We got the alert maybe an hour and a half later when it was all cleared up. I was happy to get the alert but it wasn’t really timely,” said sophomore Nicolas Mackarey.
Police did arrest four boys ranging in age from 15-17. As for the timing on the alert to students, the executive director of public safety told us there was so much going on, and it was so chaotic, they were trying to piece it together before alerting the student body.
Notable in this situation is that not only do the youth perpetrators have absolutely no regard for the authorities or the Temple students, the police themselves are subject to their wrath, and are unable to alert citizens of unrest. Just another reminder that when it comes to your own safety, the cops are often minutes away, when seconds matter. And, in the case of North Philadelphia, the cops are themselves likely to be the victims of youth violence.
Now, if you’re a Philadelphia resident, you might be thinking to yourself, “Oh, well that happened near Temple, right in the middle of North Philly, I have nothing to worry about.” And, if you really think there is anywhere that is off limits to violent youths… think again.
Yes, not only are the youth criminals taking their violent crime to the nicest areas of Philadelphia, they are doing so in an increasingly violent fashion. Just last week, someone attempting to break up a robbery in Rittenhouse Square, one of the nicest areas of Philadelphia, was shot by one of the perpetrators, who was only 17 years old.
Police say the man was on his bike selling water in the park when he saw a robbery in progress and stepped in to try and break up the robbery.
Chief Inspector Scott Small says the man intervened and said something along the lines of “You are not going to rob these people. What are you doing?”
The Good Samaritan became a victim when the suspects shot him five times during his intervention.
He was taken to Hahnemann Hospital by responding officers and is expected to be survive despite gunshot wounds to the shoulder, chest, and torso. He is listed in critical but stable condition.
There is more than one takeaway from this incident. The obvious being, it is extremely unwise to confront an armed criminal if you are unarmed yourself. You also have to ask yourself it is a good idea to be out at night anywhere in Philadelphia without a concealed weapon, as clearly young criminals appear unconcerned with potential police intervention. And, there is probably good reason for that, as the perpetrator was known to the area, and it was likely not his first time attempting a robbery there.
Police were able to identify the teen because the pair he had tried to rob, a 22-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman, knew him by his nickname.
Still, while the crime increase cannot be ignored, the reckless nature of increasingly youthful offenders goes unmentioned. And, even in Center City and Rittenhouse Square, the crimes themselves are getting more brazen by the day. From morning smash-and-grab heists, where the perpetrators will sometimes use a car to smash the front window, to stealing the brass railing off the steps of the historic Union League building, thieves and criminals seem to have no fear or regard for consequences from law enforcement. And while the suspects are not always young, police themselves refuse to acknowledge increasingly younger criminals, instead going back to the tried and true tactic of blaming the drug trade. This shows the media is not alone in its lack of awareness of what is driving the increase in crime.
Unsurprisingly, residents appear to be up in arms about the increase in crime. Clearly, the city needs to beef up its police presence everywhere, and both the citizens and the authorities appear to agree on this. However, it seems that the local residents of one of the best areas are still in denial about the root cause of the crime increase – increasingly youthful offenders. To be fair, they rightfully focus on an undermanned police force that can’t even monitor security cameras or deploy foot patrols in the city’s nicest areas.
“I walk that park. . . . I work to clean up all the benches that are constantly broken from the homeless,” said Betsy Hummel, president of Friends of Rittenhouse Square. “It’s just maddening, and it’s maddening for me to hear on a consistent basis all the complaints.”
The park has 11 cameras, Hummel said, but her volunteer organization can’t manage to monitor them in real time.
Clarke said the city should have a real-time camera monitoring system but does not have the funds to put one in place.
Absent from the community meeting on Center City crime was Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney, though he did find the time to attend an LGBT community meeting of similar size the following day. It seems the mayor is more concerned with pandering to certain groups of voters than he is with ensuring the safety of all residents.
But it’s gotten to the point where the owner of Blink Optical, located near the scene of Tuesday’s drug busts, tells Action News he’s thinking of shutting down. He’s been robbed twice.
“When I tell you we are really considering closing, you might come here on Sunday, and we’re not here,” Haim Shalom said.
Police say they’ve also seen an uptick in simple and aggravated assaults, primarily among the homeless.
Violent crime is clearly on the rise in Philadelphia, and the perpetrators are getting increasingly younger. However, since the police are not even off limits to these attacks, and cannot be everywhere at once, citizens need to acknowledge the dangers to themselves. Not walking around alone at night is a good start. And, while concealed carry isn’t for everyone, it is certainly something that needs to be at the very least in consideration for all Philadelphia residents. The cops are having a hard enough time defending themselves from an increasingly younger and more brazen set of perpetrators – do your best not to leave yourself defenseless. Regardless, citizens need to keep the pressure on police to increase their presence and let it be known that violent crimes will be swiftly and harshly dealt with.
But, what do you really think the authorities, in particular Mayor Kenney, will do in response to this new crime wave? It should be obvious, especially in a city like Philadelphia. They will do what they’ve always done – shift the blame, and demand more gun control. What better way for the Mayor to solve the problem, than to be totally oblivious to it, and continue to peddle even more of his failed gun control agenda?
“Cops shoot black suspects. It must be racism.
Suspect shoots cops, says he wanted to kill white people. It must be guns.”