Democratic Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and city officials acknowledged the city is on track for a record number of homicides, shootings, and confiscated guns this year, following months of Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots.
“It makes me absolutely sick to know that so many Philadelphians have suffered these preventable deaths,” Kenney said at a press conference Wednesday. “It’s painfully clear that we must take new approaches.”
According to new data from the Philadelphia Police department, homicides are up 30 percent in 2021 year-to-date. There have been 412 nonfatal shooting victims, whereas there were 258 last year. In total, 690 individuals have been arrested for illegal firearms compared to 355 last year. African Americans accounted for 86 percent of the shooting victims.
The city will now be holding bi-weekly briefings for the public that will be streamed on Facebook Live. The violent crime increase in Philadelphia can partially be attributed to Democratic District Attorney Larry Krasner, who created a court diversionary program titled Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition that gives violent criminals a second opportunity to be released after a probationary period.
Krasner received $1.7 million from billionaire George Soros in 2017 in his election campaign. The Krasner campaign and Soros PAC spent about $1.9 million, which pales in comparison to the second-highest campaign money spent by Michael Untermeyer.
Soros notably invested $220 million in Black Lives Matter and other “racial equity” groups in July. He is also a backer of the Minnesota Freedom Fund that bailed out rioters and looters in response to the death of George Floyd. Krasner has come under fire for his controversial past of suing the Philadelphia Police department 75 times and calling law enforcement “systemically racist.”
“In 2020, when Philadelphia was ravished by radical left organizations like Black Lives Matter and criminal opportunists who rioted, looted, and torched police cars, District Attorney Larry Krasner failed to hold the perpetrators accountable,” nearby Montgomery County Commissioner Republican Joe Gale, who is currently running for governor in the Commonwealth told The Federalist.
“The Philly DA is clearly more concerned with placating progressives and furthering his political agenda than maintaining law and order. This toxic attitude of indifference is why Philadelphia suffered nearly 500 homicides and over 2,200 shootings last year,” Gale said.
“We don’t give up. We don’t give in,” said Kenney in January. “We are determined to save lives and create peace. We will turn the page on this dark chapter in the history of our city, and we will write the new book together. I vow to be with Philadelphians every step of the way as we take on this challenge.”
In June, Kenney dropped his prior proposal to increase police funding, and instead vied to slash budgets.
“We think we can police better and make sure we put the resources in the departments that can affect change and make the situation in our neighborhoods better,” he said this summer. “We want to approach this open-mindedly, but some of these things have to happen.”
Cities across the country experienced notable shootings and homicide increases this summer, with as much as 265 percent in Atlanta, 130 percent in New York City, 250 percent in Los Angeles, and 525 percent in crime increases in Seattle.
At the 2020 presidential debate in September, then-President Trump harped on the corruptness of Philadelphia.
“Bad things happen in Philadelphia,” Trump said, “bad things.”
“We are all responsible for what goes on here. This is our community and these are our children,” said Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw.