Philadelphia mayor calls America ‘Dodge City’ after shooting of two officers

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney revealed early Tuesday morning that he is looking forward to the day when he will no longer be in charge of the City of Brotherly Love amid rising gun violence – as he spoke out against the country’s lax gun laws.

At an early morning press conference after the shooting of two on-duty police officers patrolling a July 4 fireworks display, Kenney denounced the availability of firearms in the United States.

“It was a laid back, laid back day,” he said of the Welcome America Party on the boardwalk. “The weather was beautiful, the concert was magnificent.

“But we live in America and we have the Second Amendment. And we have the Supreme Court of the United States telling everyone they can carry a gun whenever they want.

“It’s like Dodge City.”

The mayor, a Democrat, was then asked if he’s worried the city’s gun problem will affect other upcoming events, like the 2026 World Cup.

“There isn’t an event, or a day, that I don’t lay on my back and stare at the ceiling and worry about stuff,” Kenney revealed. “So everything we’ve had in the city over the last seven years I’m worried about.

“I don’t like the 4th of July. I don’t like the Democratic National Convention. I didn’t like the NFL Draft. I wait for something bad to happen all the time.

“I’ll be happy when I’m not here, when I’m not mayor, and I can enjoy some things,” he said, prompting a reporter to confirm: “Are you looking forward to not being mayor? “

“Yeah, actually,” said Kenney, who has a term limit and can’t run for re-election. He will remain in office until January 2024. Gun violence in the city is up 6% from a year ago.

At a press conference early Tuesday morning, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney revealed he would be relieved when he is no longer mayor and no longer has to worry about the possibility of a shootout at major events.

Still, Kenney insisted at the press conference that if he could solve the city’s growing gun problem, he would.

“We have to figure out what this country is right now,” Kenney said. “We had a great day out there today except for some idiot shooting from a window or shooting from somewhere and has a gun who probably shouldn’t have had it .”

But, he said, he is prohibited from creating or passing gun control legislation under the Pennsylvania state constitution.

It states: “No county, municipality or township shall regulate in any manner the lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition components while being transported or carried for any purpose not prohibited by the laws of this Commonwealth.”

“This is gun country. It’s crazy,’ Kenney said. “We are the most armed country in the history of the world and we are one of the least secure.

“So until the Americans decide they want to give up the guns and give up the possibility of getting guns, we’re going to have this problem.”

Kenney added that he doubted there was gun control in his lifetime, citing “a lot of goofballs with guns, and they can get them whenever they want, so that’s with that what we have to live”.

Authorities direct onlookers to a 4th of July fireworks display in Philadelphia after an unknown shooter opened fire and injured two officers

Authorities direct onlookers to a 4th of July fireworks display in Philadelphia after an unknown shooter opened fire and injured two officers

Monday night's shooting sent distraught families fleeing in all directions just hours after six people were killed in a shooting in a Chicago suburb.

Monday night’s shooting sent distraught families fleeing in all directions just hours after six people were killed in a shooting in a Chicago suburb.

Families left their chairs and belongings in the street as they fled the festival on Monday night

Families left their chairs and belongings in the street as they fled the festival on Monday night

Many questions remain following the shooting of two on-duty police officers patrolling the fireworks display on Monday night.

“We don’t know if it was a ricochet of celebratory gunfire, we don’t know if it was intentional, we don’t know if it was someone intentionally shooting these officers from long range,” said Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. said at the press conference.

“We’re all extremely grateful that it’s not worse than it was.”

“A lot is happening in the country. There’s a lot going on in the world,” Outlaw noted, adding, “Obviously, Philadelphia is no stranger to gun violence.

Over the past year, shootings in the City of Brotherly Love are up 6.36%, according to the Philadelphia Police Department – with 2,108 reported so far in 2022 on Sunday.

This time last year, there had been 1,982 shootings.

Meanwhile, the number of gunshot victims is up 5.5% from a year ago, with 1,168 people injured in a shooting so far in 2022.

The overall crime rate climbed 8.5%, driven primarily by a 62.5% increase in armed robbery and a 21.5% increase in all other types of theft.

At the same time, however, homicides decreased by 9.39%.

Fortunately, the officers who were shot on Monday night were transported at Jefferson Hospital in stable condition, and were released early Tuesday morning.

They suffered minor injuries in the shooting, with a 44-year-old officer assigned to the Montgomery County Bomb Squad shot in the shoulder and a 36-year-old Highway Patrol officer suffering a graze to the head.

One of those officers, Outlaw said, said he plans to return to the force and even wants to work on the event again next year.

Philadelphia police are pictured at the scene of the shooting during the Welcome America Party on the boardwalk

Philadelphia police are pictured at the scene of the shooting during the Welcome America Party on the boardwalk

The crowd was frightened by the sound of gunfire and began to sprint

The crowd was frightened by the sound of gunfire and began to sprint

Dramatic video of the shooting showed thousands of people fleeing the event near the Philadelphia Museum of Art after the shooting, which came just hours after six people died while watching a July 4 parade in Highland Park, in Illinois.

The gunfire erupted near the Philadelphia Museum of Art on the last day of a festival with large numbers of people watching a fireworks display after a concert, prompting hundreds to run screaming along Benjamin Drive Franklin, looking for shelter.

Those who managed to flee rushed to the nearest corner for cover where they felt safe as police ordered residents of surrounding buildings to shelter in place.

Meanwhile, the fireworks continued to explode as officers could be heard on the police radio calling for the fireworks display to be halted as officers responded to the chaos.

“It was pure chaos. I was right there,’ Lanie Marlin wrote on Twitter.

“There were fences blocking the way. There were cops screaming to get away, then cops sitting there doing nothing. People are running in all directions. Others standing around with no idea what was going on.

“At first it was very orderly. The police were just like ‘go this way, go this way.’ And then, that’s when they accelerated and they said “run, run, run”. Don’t look back, run,’ Hugh Dillon told CBS3.

Immediately afterwards, Kenney tweeted: ‘We will continue to do everything we can to address gun violence in our city – including getting a record number of guns off the streets – but we are fighting an uphill battle.

“We implore lawmakers to help us stop the flow of guns into our city.”

After the shooting, Kenney tweeted that he would like to address the city's growing gun problem.

After the shooting, Kenney tweeted that he would like to address the city’s growing gun problem.

But the shooting in Philadelphia wasn’t the only one to happen this weekend, as officials in at least a dozen other cities reported shootings over the holiday weekend, according to the New York. Times.

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, for example, eight people were injured – several seriously – in a shooting at Boom Island Park, and in Kenosha, Wisconsin, one person was killed and four others were injured in a shooting. another shootout.

In Sacramento, California, a 31-year-old man was killed and four others were injured when shots were fired as a nightclub closed early Monday morning, and in Kansas City, Missouri, four others were been injured.

Six were also injured in a shooting in Richmond, Va. over the weekend.

The biggest shooting, however, occurred Monday afternoon in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago.

A gunman – later identified as 22-year-old Robert ‘Bobby’ Crimo III, opened fire on flag-waving families and children riding bicycles in the parade, killing six and injuring more than 36 spectators .

Two of his victims so far have been named a synagogue teacher named Jacki Sundheim and a 76-year-old grandfather named Nicolas Toledo.

The shooting sent hundreds of walkers, parents with strollers and children on bicycles fleeing in terror into the affluent community of approximately 30,000 people on Chicago’s North Shore.

The shooting occurred at a spot on the parade route where many residents had staked out vantage points early in the day for the annual celebration.

Dozens of bullets fired sent hundreds of parade-goers – some visibly bloodied – fleeing the scene.

About James K. Bonnette

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