Councilmember Curtis Jones Jr speaking at an event


In Council News, Curtis Jones, Jr., News by PHL Council

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On September 10, 2020, City Council passed Resolution #200436, authorizing the Committee  on Public Safety and the Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention to address increased gun violence, homicide, and access to firearms in the City of Philadelphia. Specifically, to review and examine the circumstances shared by those accused of committing the last 100 shootings, explore the source of firearms used to commit violent crime in the city, evaluate any prior contacts the arrestee had with the criminal justice system, and the trend of gun case disposition, bail, and recidivism.

In response to the City Council’s call for increased collaboration, the 100 Shooting Review Committee was assembled to examine and understand the root causes of the gun violence in our city and to make actionable recommendations to address the gun violence crisis. Due to increasing rates of crime, the Committee expanded its purview to examine 2,000+ shootings.

With the collaborative efforts and commitments from the Philadelphia Police Department, the District Attorney Office, the Mayor’s Office, the Office of the Managing Director, the City Controller, the Department of Public Health, First Judicial District, the Defender Association, and members of their staff, the committee was established. This committee came together as a synergy” to view the issues from different perspectives, work to redefine the question of what is happening in our city with respect to shootings, and make recommendations for how to move forward.

The City of Philadelphia is suffering from an unrelenting crisis of senseless gun violence in our communities. As Chair of the City Council’s Committee on Public Safety, it is imperative to me that we understand what is happening. We can either sit back and allow crime to continue at the upward trend we are seeing, or we can be proactive and understand the root causes of the issues we are facing.

“The year of 2021 saw a record number of homicides and non-fatal shootings. With the number of homicides sitting above 550, and the number of non-fatal shootings over 2,300 – that is roughly six shootings per day. It is clear we are sitting at a crossroads of crisis,” said Councilmember Curtis Jones, Jr. (4th District).

“We support my colleague, Councilmember and Public Safety Chairman Jones, for his leadership and production of this comprehensive report on the last 100 shootings in Philadelphia,” said Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) “City Council is doing everything it can to appropriate funds to innovative, neighborhood-based programs to reduce gun violence. It’s clear however from the unrelenting pace of shootings and homicides this year as well as last year – we must do more, and we must intensify our efforts. Councilmember Jones’ report on shootings in Philadelphia, with its findings and recommendations, is an important step in that direction.”

“This in-depth study of the root causes of the gun violence in our city will play a significant role in helping city leaders craft short-term and long-term solutions to address the gun violence crisis plaguing our city,” said Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District), Chairman of the Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention. “Philadelphia did not reach our record murder rates overnight and the problems facing our city will take time to see a dramatic reduction in the homicide rate. I am confident that if everyone in Philadelphia works together and does everything within our power to stop the devastation of lives on our streets, our homicide rate will go down. Enough is enough. We must do better as a city.”

“As our administration continues to work relentlessly to reduce violence and create safer communities and a more just city for everyone, this latest report showcases the stark challenges we’re up against,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “This report also underscores the ongoing collaboration we have across our partner agencies. While we’ve made significant progress, there is still much work that must be done as we continue to address the immediate crisis and tackle the systemic, root causes of violence. Many of the recommendations offered in the report are strategies currently being implemented by our agencies and law enforcement. Moving forward, in partnership with City Council and our public safety agencies, we must continue to invest in the strategies, supports, and resources outlined in the City’s Roadmap to Safer Communities—our approach to tackling gun violence in Philadelphia.”

“The Philadelphia Police Department remains focused on fighting the surge of violent crime that continues to plague our neighbors and communities. This report highlights the urgent need to remain consistent with crime fighting efforts, coupled with serious consequences, to stop the senseless loss of lives,” states Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. “Our department recognizes that out of the box ideas, such as creating a new non-fatal shooting unit to centralize our efforts to solve non-fatal shootings, is only a single step towards decreasing this disturbing trend. It will take a village to address the systematic cause of this crisis, but we are committed to collaborative strategies and applaud this report for its dedication to lasting progress through partnership.”

“This comprehensive review across public health and safety offices reinforces what we’ve known about gun violence for some time. This review shows that the City of Philadelphia must be laser-focused on violence prevention, and on holding people who commit shootings accountable. We must also soundly reject institutional practices that failed to prevent this crisis, starting with political fealty to the firearms industry and unevenly applied enforcement that spawned both mass incarceration and perpetual cycles of heightened violence,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said. “As this review shows, focused and intentional collaboration among prosecutors and police yields stronger criminal cases, and I’m optimistic that consolidation of non-fatal and fatal shootings investigations across law enforcement will improve case clearance and prosecutions. I want to thank Councilmember Curtis Jones, Jr., and members of the 100 Shooting Review Committee for convening our public health and safety partners for this important project, and for tasking us to continue working collaboratively toward a safer and more just Philadelphia.”

“The causes of gun violence are complex, and it will take hard work and collaboration between all the stakeholders who contributed to this report. But even that isn’t enough. We, as a justice system need to actively seek partnerships with the community organizations working in the affected neighborhoods and fighting every day to put an end to the violence,” said Chief Defender Keisha Hudson.

At the end of the day, it is important to remember what this report is: a view of the same issue through a variety of different lenses; and what it is not: a solution to the problem, but a redefining of the question,” said Councilmember Curtis Jones, Jr.

Read the report: 100 Shooting Review complete


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