Updated: Time and date have changed.
PHILADELPHIA (JANUARY 28, 2020) — Philadelphia City Councilmembers overwhelmingly approved a resolution sponsored by Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson (2nd District) authorizing the Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention to hold hearings to examine the effect of gun violence on victims and co-victims as well as the resources available to them. Johnson is the co-chairman of the Special Committee.
The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, February 20 starting at 1pm at Philadelphia City Council Chambers, Room 400, Philadelphia City Hall.
“Gun violence is a persistent, growing threat to the safety and well-being of communities throughout Philadelphia and America,” Johnson said. “City Council has recognized gun violence as a public health crisis in Philadelphia and these new Council hearings on the impact of gun violence will give the chance for victims of gun violence to voice their concerns and what resources the City of Philadelphia are providing to support them. The hearing will also examine what anti-violence programs are working, which programs are not and what we have to do as Philadelphians to reduce the murder rate plaguing our city.”
As of January 27, 2020, 35 people have been the victims of homicides in Philadelphia, a 40 percent increase compare to this same time in 2019, according to statistics on the Philadelphia Police Department website. In 2019, Philadelphia recorded 356 homicides. That total marked the highest homicide count in over a decade and was higher than the 353 homicides recorded in 2018. Almost all those homicides were committed with firearms and people of color are disproportionately likely to be victims or co-victims of gun violence.
“In addition to those being murdered in our city, there were also more than 1,400 non-fatal shootings in Philadelphia in 2019,” Johnson continued. “The victims of violence often suffer long-term disability, including paralysis, organ malfunction, and chronic pain. These hearings will give incoming Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw the chance to lay out her crime and violence reduction vision for the city plus give the Managing Director’s Office a forum to update the public on Mayor Jim Kenney’s ‘The Philadelphia Roadmap to Safer Communities,’ the Administration’s plan announced one year ago establishing a strategy for gun violence prevention.”
Johnson held a four-hour meeting late last week with leadership from across City of Philadelphia government to get an update on the crime and violence impacting the city and discuss future opportunities for agencies to work together in addressing the issue.
Included in the meeting was Philadelphia City Councilmembers Curtis Jones, Jr. (Fourth District), Helen Gym (At-Large), Isaiah Thomas (At-Large), Philadelphia Managing Director Brian Abernathy and officials from the District Attorney’s Office, First Judicial District, and Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration and Town Watch Integrated Services.
“It is critically important that all citizens and city agencies roll up our sleeves and attack Philadelphia’s violence problem with a sense of urgency,” Johnson said.