Days after a 23-year-old man was shot and killed in broad daylight, state Rep. Joanna McClinton brought community residents, leaders and law enforcement together Thursday night to address the recent surge in gun violence.
“No one should fear for their life when they leave their home or be scared to let their child go outside to play,” said Rep. McClinton. “However, when a person is gunned down in the middle of the day in our neighborhood, how can you not be alarmed? The gun violence is out of control, and it’s our responsibility to be proactive to stop the bloodshed.”
Individuals from across the neighborhood joined McClinton for the outdoor conversation along Christian Street and public figures including, Pastor W. Lonnie Herndon, The Church of Christian Compassion, Philadelphia Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, Inspector Derrick Wood, Philadelphia Police Department Southwest Division, Patrick Mangold, Office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, and Kevin Fassett, Office of state Sen. Anthony H. Williams.
“Stopping this culture of killing and strengthening public safety must include a collaborative effort involving elected officials, law enforcement, local leaders and the people who live here – especially our young people,” McClinton explained. “Gun violence is a community problem that requires a community solution.”
McClinton added a critical step to reducing crime is by getting children on the right path from the beginning. She is currently working on legislation to require schools to include conflict resolution in their curriculums to help students develop skills to safely cope with problems and deter them from turning to violence.
According to police, there have been more than 1,000 shootings this year alone in Philadelphia, with at least 100 victims being children.
Participants included officials from city and state government, local law enforcement and community leaders: