Pennsylvania News Today: Kenny rejects growing demand to do more to reduce gun violence | Local News

Mayor Jim Kenney defends his response to rising violence in the city and opposes two local officials calling on him to respond more urgently to the crisis.

In a letter sent Thursday to councilor Jamie Gautier and mayor Rebecca Reinhardt, Kenny said, “This job is too difficult and too important to weaponize for a political career or agenda. I can’t do that. “

In a six-page letter, Kenny stated that his administration had taken “a full government response” to gun violence, adding that it was partially fueled by a coronavirus pandemic.

Kenny’s letter responded last week to Gautier and Reinhardt’s call in favor of other officials and community activists, working harder to reduce the violence that would affect African Americans disproportionately. There is.

The second mayor presented his administration’s existing anti-violence strategies and programs and provided his own response to the authorities’ demands.

However, Kenny has revealed that he will take no further action to reduce gun violence beyond what his administration is currently doing or willing to do.

“And I haven’t declared a state of emergency, but no other city like us is suffering, but it certainly doesn’t act urgently for my administration to deal with this epidemic. It doesn’t mean that, “Kenny said.

Gauthier and Rhynhart did not immediately respond to the request for comment.

Killing Reached According to the police online database, it was 319 as of Friday, an increase of 29% compared to the same period last year.

Kenny has overseen the steady increase in homicide since taking office in 2016. However, during a pandemic of homicides reaching a 30-year high (499), violence surged in 2020 and the city recorded the highest year-on-year increase in homicides. According to police data, it dates back to 1960.

Last week, Gautier, Reinhardt, and a few other city council members (not known to openly criticize Kenny). requested Kenny takes more action against gun violence with 14 zip codes suffering from the highest levels of gun violence.

Gauthier and Rhynhart will take Kenny to reduce violence, including ensuring access to neighborhood mental health services, strengthening programming at recreation centers, funding more employment initiatives, and forming new response teams. Proposed a series of immediate actions that can be taken. Coordinate anti-violence initiatives more effectively.

Kenny said in a letter that his administration had already implemented the same type of initiative that the authorities had sought. He thanked Gautier and Reinhardt for their suggestions and added, “We look forward to our ongoing partnership to combat the epidemic of gun violence.”

Kenny has increased political pressure in recent weeks to more aggressively reduce urban violence.

Black Crazy in and around Philadelphia has emerged to support the demands of Gautier and Reinhardt.

And U.S. Congressman Dwight Evans, a Democrat who represents part of North Philadelphia, Called “Take immediate action” in last week’s letter to Kenny about reducing murder and shooting.

Kenny rejects growing demand to do more to reduce gun violence | Local News