Police have arrested five people in connection with the carjacking of Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon in broad daylight yesterday in Philadelphia. The five criminals are all teenagers. They range in age from 13 (yes, 13) to 19.
Reportedly, they have written an apology letter to Scanlon, so there would seem to be no doubt about their guilt. Also, the gang’s leader had Scanlon’s car keys in his possession when the police arrested him.
The leader of the gang is Josiah Brown. He’s age 19 and therefore an adult for purposes of prosecution. According to reports, Brown is the one who pointed a gun at Scanlon. He claims the gun wasn’t loaded.
Brown is no stranger to the criminal justice system. He has been charged twice with crimes, once in Delaware and once in Pennsylvania. One of the charges was brought just a few months ago, in August.
I don’t yet know what crimes Brown was charged with or what the circumstances of his release are. However, given yesterday’s carjacking, it’s obvious that Brown’s release presented a threat to public safety.
Maybe this time, he will be held in jail.
By the way, yesterday’s carjacking brought the total number in Philadelphia this year to 793. That’s a 101 percent increase over last year’s total and an increase of 260 percent from the number in 2019.
Today, Rep. Scanlon spoke about her experience. I was struck by her claim that she will continue to push for policies and resources that will help reduce violence.
This is disingenuous. What Scanlon has pushed for is the diversion of resources from the police to mental health professionals. That, and changes in the law that will make it easier successfully to sue cops and hold them criminally liable.
But criminals don’t hijack cars, for example, because of poor mental health. They hijack cars because they’re bad people who think they can get away with it.
The response should be a beefed up police force that will reduce the likelihood of getting away with crimes and policies that will enable society to keep these kinds of people locked up once they commit them.
Diverting resources away from the police and making it easier to sue cops and hold them criminally liable will undercut the first solution. Scanlon apparently has no interest in the second.
She has been mugged by reality, yet remains clueless. Let’s hope a Red Wave sweeps her out of office next year.