House Democrat Who Co-Sponsored Bill to Replace Police with Social Workers Carjacked at Gunpoint

A Democratic congresswoman who supported anti-police legislation was carjacked Wednesday in Philadelphia.

Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon of Pennsylvania was held up at gunpoint by two men who stole her 2017 Acura MDX 2:45 p.m., police said, according to The Associated Press.

The car was later found in Delaware with five occupants inside, according to WPVI-TV in Philadelphia. The individuals were taken into custody, but their connection to the crime had not been determined, the station reported.

Police said Scanlon and a staffer were approaching her car after a tour of FDR Park in South Philadelphia when two armed men driving a dark SUV demanded her keys.

She did not resist.

Scanlon’s personal cellphone, government cellphone, purse, and ID were in the car when it was taken.

Scanlon’s office thanked the Philadelphia Police Department “for their swift response.”

Scanlon is among 125 co-sponsors of the Mental Health Justice Act, which sought to replace police offices with mental health staffers in responses to some emergencies, according to Fox News.

The bill seeks to “employ, train, and dispatch mental health professionals to respond in lieu of law enforcement officers in emergencies involving one or more persons with a mental illness or an intellectual or developmental disability, and for other purposes.”

In June 2020, Scanlon released a statement about police on her website saying, “I am working on as we fight to dismantle systems of hate, hold law enforcement officers accountable, and push for the adoption — and use — of unbiased policing practices.”

Scanlon, who is white, said anti-police protests at the time were a “moral reckoning in our community and across the country, a response to the injustice and inaction that black and brown Americans have experienced for centuries. Enough is enough.”

Philadelphia City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, the Democrat who represents the district the carjacking took place, said such crimes are becoming too frequent.

“Right now in the City of Philadelphia, people feel like there’s a sense of lawlessness. At the end of the day, you see carjackings taking place during the holiday season. We see people being robbed of their Rolexes, so at the end of the day, we have to figure out how do we get ahold of this senseless violence,” Johnson said.

Mayor Jim Kenney said he was “appalled” to learn about this crime, issued a statement calling the carjacking “infuriating.”

“It’s disheartening, and quite frankly infuriating, that criminals feel emboldened to commit such a reckless crime in the middle of the day in what should be a place of tranquility and peace-one of Philadelphia’s beautiful parks,” Kenney said in the statement. “My thoughts are with her during what I’m sure is a traumatic time.”

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, another Democratic politician was the victim of a carjacking, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Democratic Illinois state Sen. Kimberly Lightford and her husband were carjacked. There were no injuries, although police said a shot was fired at Lightford’s husband.

Lightford, like Scanlon, has been a strong supporter of so-called police reforms after the death of George Floyd, according to Fox.

Police said three people in a Dodge Durango cut off Lightford’s Mercedes SUV, which was later recovered, according to the Tribune.

“I am trying to process the trauma of what happened,” Lightford said, thanking police “for their quick and thorough response.”