A man shot and wounded by police Tuesday night in West Philadelphia is a pizza delivery driver who might have thought he was being robbed, a top police official said Wednesday morning.
Last night I heard this as I was leaving Laura’s house, and I was kind of terrified. It sounded like rapid fireworks, and that’s what I kind of hoped it was (sometimes in West Philly it is, after all.) But the dozens of police cars suggested otherwise. Now I’m reading on Philly.com that it was the police. The same police I’ve seen use eight officers to tackle one unarmed black man and pin him to the ground. And I’m just kind of confused and upset? Especially where he heard someone from behind telling him to stop, and the guy is carrying cash, so how is he not going to be terrified?
Now if he survives let’s watch him get charged with resisting arrest or some shit. Fuck this.
Whenever stories like this emerge, I want to jump to the defense of the police because cop-bashing is so rampant. It wasn’t until I moved to Philadelphia and worked/lived in an urban setting that I truly understood the importance of law enforcement.
With that being said, this is absolute bullshit. Living in this neighborhood, I’ve called the police several times for suspicious activity. I’ve been harassed while unlocking my front door. There’s a halfway house on the same block as a liquor store and brewery, and no one bats an eye at the suspicious activity around the organization. A man was flashing and masturbating at young women—children, too—and when my neighbors called the local precinct to report him, the police were slow to respond and unhelpful. A man was sexually assaulting young women just north of my block around dawn and dusk, and I barely saw an uptick in foot patrol during those hours. The list goes on. Money is tight, I know, but the response to this incident—the target being a young black male—surpasses what is 1) appropriate and 2) actually needed for the community.
I would love to see the local precinct step it up and act with more integrity moving forward. As it stands now, I’ve lost a lot of faith in my community law enforcement over the past few years.
In West Philly, the “gentrifying” census tracts between Market/Baltimore/50th/45th and again between Baltimore/Kingsessing/50th/45th are showing modest increases in crime rate, while the areas adjoining those tracts due West are showing decreases. (Blue shades are getting better, orange shades are getting worse.) Cobbs Creek and the further SW areas are mixed-to-bad.
Notable here is that much of the area covered by the PAS catchment is getting worse.