Determined Blue-Collar Philadelphians Band Together To Take Back Their Neighborhood

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Trevor Schakohl Legal Reporter
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Embattled Philadelphia residents are taking action against drugs and gun violence infiltrating their neighborhood, citing failures by the city’s Democratic district attorney, according to The Wall Street Journal.

People living in the Harrowgate neighborhood claim to feel threatened as a more than two-year gun violence wave continues alongside an expanding illegal opioid market, the outlet reported Sunday. Some have formed neighborhood watch patrols to shew drug users as dealers fight over territory, with Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner drawing scrutiny for not prosecuting a variety of crimes aggressively enough.

Resident Sonja Bingham said it felt as if the neighborhood had been deserted by the city and treated like a containment zone along with the nearby Kensington neighborhood, according to WSJ. Harrowgate residents argue people in other areas are not forced to deal with public drug injection and sidewalk camping, and shootings in the neighborhood have increased more by percentage there compared to many others in the city.

Philadelphia Managing Director Tumar Alexander admitted he “can’t dispute that feeling,” but said he “can only tell them that from my perspective, that’s not the case, and we’re trying to do as much as we can down there,” WSJ reported.

“The city’s not going to help us, so we have to do this ourselves,” Bingham told the outlet. Her Old Lady Gang group surveys the park, and her house was allegedly set on fire for revenge after she urged a group of drug dealers to leave her block.

Philadelphia’s 24th Police District Capt. Pedro Rosario reported drugs are sold on over 200 corners with the jurisdiction, with narcotics being linked to around 85% of shootings there, according to WSJ. Harrowgate has already seen an over 250% increase in shooting deaths since 2020 compared to the previous three years, based on law enforcement data. (RELATED: ‘They Need To Be Punished’: ‘The Five’ Hammer Democrats On Skyrocketing Crime, Lack Of Border Security)

George Manosis, whose company holds housing property in Harrowgate, contended that the neighborhood is not patrolled by enough police officers, according to WSJ. Krasner has eschewed blame for Philadelphia’s gun violence, calling shooters’ punishment his highest gun crime priority and claiming he centers attention on disrupting high-level dealers when it comes to illegal drugs, according to WSJ.

Fox 29 News’ Mike Jerrick challenged Krasner, who insisted his approach “is working” and said “MAGA states” had a 40% greater homicide rate than “Biden states” during a recent broadcast. Jerrick said “a thousand people” had been killed “in 20 months.”

Philadelphia police saw roughly 5.4% and 2% decreases in reported murders and aggravated assaults in the first six months of 2022 compared to the previous year, but reported robberies rose by nearly 39.5%, according to the Major Cities Chiefs Association.

A representative for Krasner did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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