Well, this is charming:
2014 is starting out scary. After the record decline in homicides in 2013, the New Year has begun with a homicide-a-day rate reminiscent of the bad old “Killadelphia” days we’d hoped were past. Jim MacMillan, a former Daily News photographer and a founder of GunCrisis.org, tracks violence in the city. He talked with Philly Mag today about what’s happening and why.
The Inky’s Mike Newall reports that pickpocketing seems to be up a bit this year in Center City coffee shops and restaurants—162 reported offenses this year, up from 133 in 2012. This wave, such as it is, is “centered in the busy coffeehouses and restaurants between 11th and 16th Streets.”
NBC10 reports that two suspects — 27-year-old Matthew Morris (above, left) and 32-year-old Miguel Maldonado — have been arrested and charged with robbery and aggravated assault following a brutal attack that happened on Nov.10 in the Gayborhood.
The two allegedly attacked 36-year-old Nick Forte on the corner of 12th and Saint James streets. Philly Gay News describes the bone-chilling incident:
Which one of these stories will do more to hurt the reputation of the Philadelphia Police Department?
You have the right to take pictures and video of Philadelphia police officers as they do their job—provided, of course, you don’t end up interfering with that job while you do so. Philadelphia police officers, however, don’t always recognize this right—and the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit as a result.
The complaint by the American Civil Liberties Union was drawn up on behalf of a college student who was charged with disorderly conduct for using his cellphone to record police during a large altercation. His cellphone was later confiscated and the video erased, the lawsuit said.
The complaint is the first of several that the Pennsylvania ACLU chapter plans to file alleging retaliatory behavior by officers, attorney Mary Catherine Roper said. It seeks monetary damages as well as confirmation of the public’s right to videotape police, she said.
“It is not and, under our Constitution, could not be a crime,” the lawsuit states.
Roper said to expect two more complaints against police in the near future. [AP]
Gloria Casarez, the director of the Office of LGBT Affairs in Philly, has been reaching out to people via Facebook and other social media to help solve a recent murder in the Frankford section of the city.
“The person murdered last week on Adams Avenue is a young person known to many of us – Kyra Kruz,” says Casarez. “Kyra was shot to death and found several days ago on Adams Ave. in Philadelphia without I.D. or a phone on her. She was last seen at a nearby WaWa buying two hoagies and two drinks.”
Kruz was found shortly after 5:00 a.m. last Monday in a wooded area behind a shopping center in the 1100 block of Adams Avenue. If anyone has any information of who she may have been with, or recent information that may help with the case, please contact Det. Pitts of The Philadelphia Police Station at 215-686-3334.
UPDATE: BLITZ is holding a candlelight vigil this week for Kruz (Sept. 13) at 8 p.m. at the William Way LGBT Community Center. People will be walking from the center throughout the Gayborhood, sharing stories and remembering the young woman. Anyone interested in speaking, performing or even donating candles and snacks is asked to email Jaden at BLITZJaden@gmail.com.
After a transgender women was brutally stabbed last week in our nation’s capital, it was announced just a day later that she died as the result of the attack. And while we wish we could say this was a rare event, the reality is that all too often those within the transgender and gender queer communities are regularly the victims of violent assaults. In Philly, there are many still open cases involving transgender people – like Nizah Morris, who died of a headwound shortly after being released from police custody in 2002. The case still hasn’t been solved.
The LGBT community has made some important strides in recent years, but it’s not always true for those like Deoni Jones – this latest victim in Washington D.C.
Jones was just 22 years old when she was stabbed at a bus stop on East Capitol Street on Thursday. It was about 8:15 p.m. – and by early Friday morning, the transgender woman was pronounced dead from the injuries sustained by an unknown assailant.