Weekly Briefing on Gun Violence and Prevention in Philadelphia

Above: Click on “Map Layers” to see these street block hotspots for gun violence this year in Philadelphia. [controller.phila.gov]

Block by block

• About five-to-ten percent of city blocks generate half to two-thirds of all serious reported crimes, such as gun violence. [Philly Voice]

Trend spotting

• At a press briefing last week, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw reported “downward trends” in violent crime. At the same time, July brought this year’s highest monthly shooting victim total while Philadelphia saw the largest murder rate increase among large U.S. cities recorded during the first six months of this year. [Google/Open Data Philly via @pcgvr/American Violence]

Mark your calendars

• Two short documentaries produced with support from our Credible Messenger Reporting Project have premieres next week – one online and one in person. We sent a project update to our email subscribers last week too. [Eventbrite/Eventbrite/MailChimp]

• PCGVR director Jim MacMillan has been invited to introduce the Center and to moderate the closing roundtable next week during “Gun Violence and Public Health: Reporting the Nation’s Other Health Crisis,” a two-day webinar series organized by the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Journalists and members of the public are invited to apply via email addresses included in the announcement if they wish to attend. [The Crime Report]

Investing millions

• The city will soon begin distributing funds to community groups addressing gun violence in Philadelphia. Completed applications should be emailed by Friday, September 3. [The Philadelphia Inquirer/Phila.gov]

Seeking solutions

• The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office will host three roundtable discussions with young people impacted by gun violence and the criminal justice system, to discuss their experiences and propose solutions. [WHYY]

• A group of formerly incarcerated men were asked what they think could end the epidemic of gun violence in our city. [The Philadelphia Citizen]

• Philadelphia City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson held another Peace Not Guns rally with hopes that grassroots groups will come together and come up with solutions to gun violence. [CBS3]

Helping victims of violence

• When you enter Temple University Hospital’s ER, trauma advocates will help you with more than your injuries. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]

• Philadelphia gun violence prevention activist Jamal Johnson is marching to Washington again to call for more support. Last winter, Johnson went on a hunger strike in an effort to get Mayor Kenney to declare a gun violence emergency. [WHYY]

By the numbers

• The latest Philadelphia Police citywide major crimes report published Monday morning shows 20 people shot in the city during the seven-day period ending Sunday, for this year’s lowest weekly total. The year-to-date total of 1,333 shooting victims is shown running 18.9% ahead of last year’s pace. [Philadelphia Police via Google Drive]

• However, the Shooting Victims data set maintained by Philadelphia Police and published at Open Data Philly reported 44 people shot during the same seven-day period in an update published later Monday. [Open Data Philly]

• Police recorded 325 total homicides this year to date in Philadelphia, as of late Sunday night, running 25 percent ahead of last year’s pace. [PhillyPolice.com]

• Sunday night’s incident in Center City was the 53rd shooting in which three of more people were wounded or killed in Philadelphia so far this year. [CBS3/Gun Violence Archive]

Watch and listen

• This two-episode series from “Today Explained” looks into why gun violence has increased in so many cities across the country and why Philadelphia in particular has seen such a dramatic spike. [Vox]

• The PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs also recently shared some perspectives on gun violence in Philadelphia. [YouTube]

Across the river

• Philadelphia’s surge in gun violence has been hitting home for families in New Jersey too. [NJ.com]

Better reporting

• One national news company is working to improve crime coverage, provide more context and earn trust in the communities they serve. [The Poynter Institute]


• A criminologist noted for research that addresses policing, gun violence, and crime prevention has joined the faculty at Penn. [University of Pennsylvania Almanac]

• Two-thirds of California firearm owners with children do not store guns as recommended. [Daily Democrat]


• Philadelphia has a crisis of homicides, but also of neglecting gun violence survivors. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]

• Which local leaders are bringing a sense of urgency to preventing gun violence? [The Philadelphia Citizen]

Solution of the Week

• To help residents heal from trauma, leaders in Baltimore hope to enlist city agencies, beginning with librarians. [The Trace]

In the spotlight

• The management commons that help keeps our Center on track has kindly featured our work in their Member Spotlight last week. [CultureWorks Philadelphia]

Subscribe for free

• Each Wednesday morning we share news, research, data, opinions and community responses in this Weekly Briefing on Gun Violence and Prevention in Philadelphia — and now you can subscribe for free. [Revue]

In memoriam

• Jaleel Huggins-Cotton enjoyed seeing other people laugh. [Philadelphia Obituary Project]