Waiting for a murder on the Parkway?

Not to sprain my arm patting myself on the back, but I thought yesterday’s satire on the “gated community” on the Parkway came off pretty well. It made a serious point, using humor.

The “no cop zone” on the Parkway (Photo: Philadelphia Inquirer)

Just hours later though, I was topped by an Inquirer story.   My satire seemed tame when measured against info in the story, which dealt with reaction to the second — that we know of — knife attack in what I am calling Camp JTD at 22nd and the Parkway.

The Inquirer refers to it as a “homeless encampment,” which is true, but incomplete. It is an illegal homeless encampment, but the “I-word” doesn’t get used here as it does not get used when the paper writes about illegal immigrants.

Police reported no arrests, the paper said, and no weapon was recovered. The “why” came in the next paragraph. 

“Both residents and encampment organizers confirmed Wednesday that occupants had blocked police from entering the site to get to the stabbing victim Tuesday night.”

You get that? The illegal occupiers of public land prevented police from offering aid to a victim, and prevented them from investigating a felony. They call the area they have seized a “no cop zone.”

And our hapless mayor and ineffective police commissioner take this crap?

What are we — Seattle East? Is this our version of CHAZ — a “do not go” zone created by criminals and grifters? Are our “leaders” waiting for a murder?

I’m not the only one upset. 

“That was over-the-top appalling,” said Ed Dougherty, vice president of the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, the neighborhood “adopted” by the homeless. 

He seems less sanguine than association president Dennis J. Boyle, who was quoted yesterday as being very solicitous about the unwanted guests and did not want the city to use physical force to remove Camp JTD. 

Which is what the homeless are counting on — civic squeamishness to enforce the law. 

“When will the city take action and remove this encampment?,” asked John LaCorte in an email to Mayor Jim Kenney. He is president of the Fairmount Sports Association which used to have programs on the Von Colln field that has been seized by the homeless. “We are seeing more and more violence, crime and destruction with each passing day.”

LaCorte said a woman from Camp JTD forced open the door to his home on Pennock Street and walked in.

“Did you offer her dinner, a shower, and a massage?,” Kenney did not say. Nor did he respond to my request for his response to LaCoste. 

The city told the newspaper the encampments “create a public safety threat for those who live near the camps,” but that “a forceful resolution is an absolute last resort.” Other homeless locations are the Rodin Museum, the Art Museum Azalea Garden, and outside the PHA headquarters. 

Talks with homeless representatives continue as they play rope-a-dope with Kenney, who lacks the self awareness to realize he is being gamed by people flashing their poverty privilege to flout the law. They act as if their sad status is an entitlement.

How long do you — the law-abiding, taxpaying citizen — think you would get away with not paying property taxes on your home? How about ignoring a court order?

You know the answer.

The Inquirer then cited a bunch of experts who said the homeless are no more violent than you, which is questionable, and irrelevant. The point is the lawless behavior, not even mentioned by the Inquirer. And without that mention, it almost looks like the city is bullying a bunch of people who are doing no harm.

But they are doing harm — to health, sanitation, safety, and to the notion that this is a city that respects the law. Surrender to lawlessness only encourages more lawlessness.

16 thoughts on “Waiting for a murder on the Parkway?”

  1. The only thing I can say is this: if people keep voting for the officials who allow this behavior, they cannot complain.

    Interestingly they are all Democrats since that party has controlled Philly since the 1950s.

      1. Kenney’s first opponent was a very honest, intelligent business woman.

        The people of Philly had a much superior candidate than the atrocity that Kenney is.

        Unfortunately the voters didn’t care enough and were too lazy to find out about her.

        .

  2. I totally agree. Where ARE the residents in all of this? What a bunch of wimps to let the the value of their properties deteriorate to nothing and to be held hostage by these squatters and their enablers. They have options, not the least of which is to withhold their taxes. What are the powers-that-be going to do? Put them all in jail. Good lord people, grow a pair!

  3. Stu mentions our hapless mayor and ineffective police commissioner, but not our notorious criminal district attorney, the Soros plant, the third of our unfortunate Philadelphia Useless Law Enforcement Trinity. So now, in the theater of my mind, I’m imagining he down there, clad in black with a black mask and helmet, busily trying to cell-phone video our police in action, hoping to film anything at all that would fit into his anti-Police narrative, and splattered on televisions all over the United States by his comrades in the mainstream media. We sure could use another documentary from the great Tigre Hill.

  4. Freedom of the Press was not put in the Constitution to benefit newspaper publishers, but to assure free flow of news and diversity of opinion to the public, us. It is a disgrace that a city the size of Philadelphia has only one major newspaper publisher. The hard copy newspaper industry is economically declining, but as long as the Inq et ilk are out there, they influence public opinion, and even at a financial loss the GOP and conservatives should provide competition and a second major news/opinion source to the public. It won’t break the Dem voting deluge in Philadelphia, but publicly contesting the reigning view in Philadelphia, where editors get fired for writing that buildings matter, it might make a dent in Philly’s skew to the state. (My son went around taking photos of the wave of building destruction. He took a lot.)

  5. Both a comical extravaganza and a massive failure of Government to allow the continuation of this farce. I rode there the other day and found it to be a major insult to every taxpayer in Philadelphia. The area is repulsive to the eye and ear and continues to grow. The humor is the fact that the city is resurfacing 22nd st up to the Parkway including new bike lanes where the street is blocked by the homeless settlement. Just east of the encampment a new 29 luxury home residence being built that face the illegal homesteaders. Their ad includes their own garden which should be a great place to join in for a neighborly party. Their slogan let me breathe fits the smell the neighbors now must adjust too. Bottom line and the worst scenario is when finally moved if ever is the police reaction will be closely watched by the legal sue a cop crowd. It will also set a precedent that will entice others or the same group to occupy other public area’s knowing the city is leaderless and they will allow their illegal new residence to enjoy many taxpayer paid services.

  6. Just got back from several weeks in Texas. Such an event there would have seen the cops ‘cleaning house.’ Philadelphia is a national joke.

  7. There is more than a little irony in that one of the Parkway’s biggest boosters was James
    Elverson , Sr. (1838-1911), a publisher of the “Inquirer”.

    He wouldn’t be pleased to see what’s happened to his “grand boulevard linking City Hall and Fairmount Park”.

  8. This is a great article. Most of these outlaws are NOT homeless. They are young people sticking it to the adults. I live in the area and walk by 22nd street and the Parkway everyday. They have expensive tents and receive food all the time. Some just leave their garbage on 22nd street. I shop at Whole Foods supermarket where there is now an armed guard. I have seen two big rats since the squatters set up camp. Drug addicts now sleep on the sidewalks. They are derelicts I have never seen on the Parkway near my home. Why is our city government so afraid of these criminals?

    Perhaps the citizens who really care about our city need to vote for the Republican Party in the next municipal election.

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