Tracking gun violence in Philadelphia: February 17, 2021

Philadelphia Shooting Victims: Past 24 weeks

Latest Philadelphia data

• Police reported 31 shooting victims in Philadelphia during the seven-day period ending Sunday, February 14; eight more than during the previous week but still one of the lowest weekly totals in recent months. Police reported 70 total homicides in the city this year through midnight Monday, a 46 percent increase when compared to the same period during 2020 and a 159 percent increase compared to the same date in 2017, when 27 people had been killed. [Philadelphia Police on Google/]

JAMA research from Philadelphia

• A team Philadelphia researchers observed that firearm violence increased following enactment of COVID-19 containment policies last year, and said that — along with the pandemic itself — has exacerbated related issues including unemployment, poverty and structural racism. [The Journal of the American Medical Association/Temple Health/WHYY News]

⁩Hunger strike concludes

• Gun violence prevention activist Jamal Johnson concluded his 26-day hunger strike when Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney acknowledged a resolution declaring gun violence a citywide emergency and pledged “to work to do what we can to fulfill the resolution and to get this violence under control.” The administration had been resisting public calls to support the resolution. [@JAMAL_SKU/Billy Penn/WHYY]

Response plans

• A community coalition is preparing to release a five-point violence prevention plan calling for higher bail in some cases, $100 million for intervention programs, specialized task forces and official bi-weekly city updates to the the community. Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner also called for the $100 million investment during a press conference Monday. [NBC Philadelphia/WHYY]

• Next month the city is expected to update the Philadelphia Roadmap to Safer Communities, its five-year gun violence prevention plan, including a new call for conversations with area hospitals about what services and interventions may be useful for shooting victims upon their release. []

Progress and continuing challenge

• Gun violence seems to have slowed down following increased police presence in North Philly’s Poplar neighborhood. Police think one man found shot in the head in that area Monday evening may have been struck by gunfire from the target of a nearby robbery. [Billy Penn/CBS3]

Community voices

• Kensington activist Roz Pichardo camped outside in freezing temperatures to bring awareness to rising gun violence. [Kensington Voice]

• Mothers in Charge founder Dorothy Johnson-Speight is calling for collaboration to stop gun violence. [KYW Newsradio]

• Philadelphia Police Captain Matthew Gillespie of the 18th District in West Philly has a new podcast promising “critical conversations with those involved in reducing the epidemic of gun violence.” The first episode features intervention workers discussing their role with the Philadelphia Anti Drug/Anti Violence Network. [@PPDMGillespie/Apple Podcasts]


• Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is calling on the Pennsylvania General Assembly to pass the SAVE Students Act, which he says will both help reduce gun violence “in our schools and on our streets,” and help reduce “the growing epidemic of suicides in our state.” [The Philadelphia Inquirer]

• A group of Harvard and Michigan medical students break down the steps required to address racism as a public health crisis. [MEDPAGE TODAY]

Can Washington help?

• President Biden called on Congress to enact commonsense gun law reforms in a statement released Sunday, on the third anniversary of the Parkland shooting. But a series of meetings on gun control last week left out groups focused on communities of color. [ Jones]

• In the three years following the Parkland shooting, there were 1,390 mass shootings in the US, resulting in 1,349 people killed and 5,675 people injured. A leading Senate voice for reform is conceding that “It’s going to be hard to pass much of anything.” [Gun Violence Archive/The Trace]

Gift cards for gun

• More buybacks are scheduled for February 27 in West Philadelphia and Olney. Critics have challenged the efficacy of buyback programs but New York Attorney General Letitia James adds that such events provide the community “a chance to get involved and send the message that ending gun violence is up to all of us.” [@BilalQayyumq/Caribbean Life]

New organizations

• The National Offices of Violence Prevention Network will bring together the leaders of civilian local government offices dedicated to community-driven safety solutions. [OVP Network]

• Launching soon: The Off-Ramp Project is a hub of information, training, and resources for anyone interested in preventing future violence. [The Off-Ramp Project]

Looking at the law

• Maryland will require background checks on private sales of shotguns, focused on preventing people prohibited from owning guns from buying them in private transactions. [The Baltimore Sun]

• Utah’s governor signed a bill making it legal to concealed carry a gun in the state without a permit despite arguments that violent crime increased in other states where similar laws were passed. [KJZZ]

• The St. Louis County Prosecutor is begging Missouri lawmakers to reject pending bills he says “will result in more death but not less crime.” [Missouri Independent]

By the numbers

• Forty-five percent of the shootings in Washington, D.C. occur in one percent of city blocks. [The Washington Post]

• 1 in 59 — the odds of being shot in a Columbus, Ohio, neighborhood with elevated levels of gun violence. [The Columbus Dispatch (paywalled)]

More research

• Hospital emergency departments are seeing shift in care sought during the pandemic. [The Journal of the American Medical Association]

• ERPO laws have a significant impact on preventing gun-related suicide. [Center for American Progress]

Solution of the week

• Beyond the Field addresses gun violence in Philadelphia by offering football players an outlet to practice and work out in lieu of their canceled season. [The Hawk]

Reporting resources

• Last week we added several new items to our Reporting Resources page, including: EveryStat data, Germantown Info Hub Radio’s recent gun violence solutions series and notable past reporting projects including “Precious Lives” from Milwaukee and “The Children of Central City” from New Orleans. [PCGVR]

You can make a difference

• The Center for Gun Violence Reporting is the signature project of The Initiative for Gun Violence Reporting, which also organizes events and supports research. We have good reason to believe this work makes a difference. You can help us do more. [WeDidIt]