Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon represents Pennsylvania’s fifth congressional district. She was elected in 2018, as part of the wave that voter dissatisfaction with Donald Trump produced. The district encompasses part of South Philadelphia and a chunk of the city’s suburbs including all of Delaware County.
Today, Scanlon was carjacked at gunpoint at a park in Philadelphia. The crime occurred around 2:45 p.m. — thus in broad daylight. Scanlon complied with the demand that she turn over the keys to her Acura, and therefore was not harmed by the two carjackers, according to her spokesperson.
Scanlon thanked the Philadelphia police department for its “swift response” to the carjacking and for “its efforts to ensure her continued safety.”
Scanlon is no friend of the police, though. In 2020, she backed legislation to ban federal police officers from using chokeholds. That legislation would also have banned no-knock warrants in drug cases and made it it easier to penalize police for misconduct by lowering legal standards for pursuit of criminal and civil penalties against cops.
Scanlon hoped to capitalize on the protesting and rioting that followed the death of George Floyd. She told reporters that she and her colleagues felt emboldened by weeks of nationwide protest — and public sympathy for those protests — to push for stronger reform bills than they might be able to achieve otherwise.
Sympathy for the anti-cop movement has diminished sharply due to America’s crime wave, in which carjacking plays a substantial part. Carjacking like Scanlon experienced today.
Scanlon is also backing the “Mental Health Justice Act” being pushed by hard-left Democrats like Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Ayanna Pressley. According to this account, the legislation would “make it easier for state and local governments to defund the police by instead funding mental health services and empowering them to respond to emergency calls instead of armed officers.”
Today, though, Scanlon turned to and thanked the police, not mental health professionals.
Fortunately, the police department is funded sufficiently to assist her. But thanks to the efforts of the movement Scanlon plays a prominent role in, Philadelphia is experiencing a police staffing shortage due to budget cuts. Thus, the department might struggle to respond to and investigate crimes in which the victims lack Scanlon’s clout.
Nor is it clear that the average victim of crime in Philadelphia will see the perpetrator prosecuted even if he is caught. Prosecutions have fallen dramatically in Philadelphia under Soros-backed prosecutor Larry Krasner. According to this source, 65 percent of gun charges have been dismissed or withdrawn this year.
As a result of anti-cop, pro-criminal policies, the city suffered a 30-year homicide high in 2020. And so far this year, homicides are up more than 24 percent from that high, while shootings have increased more than 25 percent.
Fortunately, Scanlon wasn’t shot. However, if she had resisted the criminals who stole her car, or maybe even failed to comply quickly enough, she might well have been.
It’s too early for me to speculate about Scanlon’s prospects for reelection next year, particularly given the recent redistricting in Pennsylvania. However, crime is almost certain to be a major issue in any district in or near Philadelphia.
Scanlon’s giddiness following 2020 BLM protests had probably already turned to concern about the effect of the crime wave on her political fortunes. If not, I imagine it will after today.