Philadelphia sets all-time murder record — Analysis
Philadelphia set a new record for 2021, with 559 murders. This is the highest number of crimes in Philadelphia’s history. It is now more popular than other large cities like New York or Los Angeles, which have seen their rates increase.
The rate surged from last year’s 499 murders and represented a major increase from 2019’s 356 killings. The worst affected were children, who saw 206 teens and kids being shot in gunfire, including 36 deaths. Over the period of 2021, approximately 2,200 Philadelphians had been shot.
“The Mayor and Council must clearly do more for 2022,” City Council President Darell Clarke said in a statement on Friday. Philadelphia earmarked $155 million for public safety in its last budget, with $16 million of that designated for neighborhood-based groups countering violence; Clarke insisted those budgetary decisions must “Identify real solutions.”
While some have called for Mayor Jim Kenney to declare gun violence an emergency, Kenney countered that declaring such an emergency would have “There is no evidence of an impact on the strengthening of what is already a collaborative, innovative and effective approach to dealing with this crisis in public health.” Declaring such ‘emergencies’ gives local governments more funding and power to act unilaterally, but there is little evidence to suggest they have any direct effect on curbing violence. Philadelphia’s City Council also wants to have the ability to create its own gun laws. Similar measures were tried in New York City and Chicago. This city had the highest number of murders in the US in 2021.
Many blame the city’s District Attorney Larry Krasner, one of several so-called ‘progressive prosecutors’ who won their positions thanks in large part to campaigns sponsored by billionaire George Soros. Like fellow DAs Chesa Boudin (San Francisco), Kim Foxx (Chicago), and George Gascon (Los Angeles), Krasner has quickly developed a reputation for being soft on crime, one that has grown alongside his city’s body count.
Soros-funded DAs tend to invite strong ‘Defund the Police’ movements, and Philadelphia’s Black Lives Matter chapter made its voice heard in 2020 loud enough to convince 14 of the city’s 17 City Council members not to support a proposed $14 million increase to the police budget. In order to maintain its 2022 budget, the city cut the police budget by $33million last year.
Philadelphia started keeping homicide records only in the 1960s. However, last year’s murders far surpassed what is considered to be the city’s most violent period during the crack epidemic of the 1990s.
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