Q&A: Jim MacMillan of GunCrisis.org Talks About Philly’s Murder Rate

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Jim MacMillan

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.

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Arrests Made in Brutal Gayborhood Attack

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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:

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ACLU Sues Philly Police Over Video Arrests

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]

Do You Have Information About Kyra Kruz?

Kyra Kruz (Courtesy of Facebook)

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.

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