Philadelphia City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson speaks during a public forum in southwest Philadelphia on Wednesday, 10/20/21 (Philadelphia Tribune photo).
By Philadelphia Tribune Staff
Several Southwest Philadelphia residents met with city leaders earlier this week over the crime they’ve seen in their neighborhood.
The meeting at Ezekiel Baptist Church and led by House Minority Leader Joanna McClinton, D-Philadelphia, and City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson discussed solutions to the area’s crime problem. Since the area falls within McClinton’s and Johnson’s respective districts they co-hosted the meeting.
There have been persistent complaints about a local deli that also sells alcohol that many call a “stop ‘n’ go.” The meeting was held so the community leaders, elected officials and other authorities could listen to the residents’ concerns about what many residents call a nuisance establishment.
“I believe alcohol brings violence,” one resident said during the sometimes emotional meeting.
Residents were at the Wednesday night session able to hear from representatives of the Philadelphia Police Department, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Public Nuisance Task Force, the Pennsylvania State Police’s Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses and Inspections, Town Watch Integrated Services and the Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti-Violence Network.
“An 11-year-old was shot outside of this store two weeks ago, and other shootings in the area that have had residents reach out to us and ask us to come out to the community and address,” Johnson said. “We want to get answers, we want to look at recommendations, and most importantly, solutions.”
The emergency safety meeting was in response to increased violence in Southwest Philadelphia in recent weeks, including the shooting of an 11-year-old boy and a man on Sept. 30 in the 5700 block of Elmwood Avenue. Both victims are recovering from their injuries.
This story was first published by the Philadelphia Tribune, a publishing partner of the Pennsylvania Capital-Star.
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