Sep 28, 2023

Using A Bad Lesson Well Taught In Philadelphia

Back on May 4th, before the death in police custody in Minneapolis, I wrote about Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw.  She instructed the police force not to arrest for minor infractions, like theft and prostitution, during the virus crisis. Large groups of young people were running amok in center city Philadelphia convenience stores,  scooping up everything their backpacks could hold. Meanwhile at City Hall, woke mayor Jim Kenney stayed silent about this decline in civilization. Only after a couple weeks, after a merchant and citizen backlash, did Outlaw and Kenney finally reverse policy.

Philadelphia inner city kids were taught a bad lesson by their police commissioner and mayor. 

Perhaps with that lesson fresh in their mind, some of them may have graduated to the looting this past weekend.

My first reaction to the looting on Walnut and Chestnut Streets was that the police must have stood down. How could looters smash windows and enter a Wells Fargo Bank without being stopped? How could all that theft and destruction only result in 13 arrests Saturday night?

I realize that there are a limited number of police and that Philadelphia is a large city. While I can't pass judgement on the police response, I will on the looters shown above. I do not believe that their thinking centered on George Floyd and institutional racism, but rather about what they could steal.

Here in the Lehigh Valley, the mayors and police chiefs conveyed their commitment to social justice.  But more importantly,  the local protestors expressed their hopes and solidarity in a lawful manner.

photocredit:Steven Falk/Philadelphia Inquirer

above reprinted from January of 2020

ADDENDUM SEPTEMBER 28, 2023:On Tuesday night looters once again had their way in several areas of Philadelphia. In large cities throughout America retailers are closing shop because of everyday shoplifting.


  1. Excellent observations, but what isn't mentioned in the original post or the addendum is the fact that these problems are mostly in democrat run cities as the direct result of democrat policies.

    I say that not to demonize, but to inform. I'm not saying republicans are necessarily better people, but what you're seeing play out in Philadelphia and other major cities is the easily-predicted results of democrat policies.

    We need to be able to state and discuss that honestly and openly if we're going to solve the problem.

    I'll note that while the new interim police chief in Philly condemned those breaking the law (the least he could do), he said nothing about the policies that led to the rioting. Nor did Mayor Kinney, DA Larry Krasner, or (to my knowledge) any member of the Philadelphia city council.

    Here in Allentown, where our own democrat elected officials are only a few years behind their big-city peers, I see no evidence that any of our elected officials can see where THEIR policies are taking Allentown.

    While the major parties try to make our elections into personality contests, it's more important that candidates will implement good policy if elected.

    The reality is that democrat policies are destroying our cities, and our country. That needs to be acknowledged.

    1. It's quite clear that the Turek administration is far more concerned with promoting the diversity of Allentown's residents and various societal groups than in public safety.

      The crime in Allentown seems to continue unabated with no end to it. But we do celebrate Mexican Halloween and have ethnic movies at Cedar Beach.

  2. anon@6:43: I commented on a recent post that I will no longer host comments with the R vs D patter. I make an exception to my new rule as a reminder. While you may not get tired of writing it, I get tired of reading it. Allentown will remain Democratic, I can barely remember the last time the city Republicans fielded a competitive candidate. Your reply will not be published.

  3. One of the good aspects of the NIZ is that it tore down all of the old buildings on Hamilton Street that used to be retail stores. Now its basically office buildings as well as expensive bistros and bars. No reason to run amok and loot as there really isn't any merchandise for sale any longer downtown

    Although, now that I think of it, the looting mobs can run roughshod in Lehigh Valley Mall. A few mall rent-a-cops won't stop them.

  4. One of my favorite comments from the debate last night was Tim Scott blaming many of the problems of facing black families today on Lyndon Johnson and the Democrats deciding to replace black fathers with a monthly check from the government. 60 years later cities are burdened with 14 - 17 year old young black male looters without fathers just trying to get what they can get for themselves by taking it.

    1. Blaming one racial group for the looting will just get you called a racist.

      Actually, the looters likely will be of several ethnic groups, all of them poor, disadvantaged youth coming mostly from broken homes and who never had a lot of discipline. So of course, society must be blamed for all of this and not the policies of our government.

      Then, of course, the pillaged merchandise will go for sale online to fuel the drug habits of those same disadvantaged youth because we don't adequately fund drug treatment programs.