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Philadelphia Business Owners: ‘Weak Enforcement’ Causing Violence on Famous South Street

Philadelphia Business Owners: ‘Weak Enforcement’ Causing Violence on Famous South Street

“We have a lot of police here. It’s not necessarily a matter of more laws, it’s a matter of being able to enforce the laws.”

Philadelphia business owners on the city’s famous South Street have dealt with an uptick in violence and crime.

A few told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the lack of law “enforcement is creating a climate of impunity that climaxes in lethal force.”

Ron Dangler, a veteran of the Iraq War, owns Dobbs, a rock club on South Street. The shooting on Saturday night happened by his club. He ran out, helped authorities tend to the victims, and noticed the police quickly secured the scene.

But the shooting caused bands from two record labels to cancel their appearances.

Then, on Sunday, the authorities closed South Street, so that meant no crowds for the PHL Pride Festival:

The record label owners “asked me if this is South Street all the time. ‘This is not the people that come to our bars and restaurants,’ I said to them. ‘These are young kids who have nothing to do, and it’s summer, and they want freedom to do what they want, with no repercussions.’”

The Tacony native, a Drexel University graduate, said the city doesn’t generally feel more dangerous than 20 years ago, when he and his friends toured live-music venues from the original J.C. Dobbs club whose site his bar occupies to the North Star Bar in Fairmount.

The police arrested two suspects in the shooting, looking for a third suspect. Three people were killed, and 11 people had injuries.

Dangler thinks the police not “enforcing anti-nuisance laws” has encouraged people to do whatever they want to do:

“The problem is, they’re not nipping it in the bud,” Dangler said. “Two Fridays ago, we had 100 people in the middle of this intersection, Third and South. They shut down traffic, the girls started twerking [dancing suggestively] in the middle of the street. Guys jumped on cars … . But there were no arrests, no detainees.”

“The worst is, you get the motorbikes, dirt bikes, ATVs. It’s as if the police have a no-chase policy. It isn’t enough that all the police are present — that’s reassuring for the tourists and us business owners — but the element that comes around, they drive around the cops in what is supposed to be an area closed to traffic, and so they come to believe nobody’s going to stop them.

Woolly Mammoth owner Chris McNichol doesn’t want to hear about gun control. How about enforcing the laws on the Philadelphia books:

The shooting is not just “a gun-control problem,” agreed Chris McNichol, owner of Woolly Mammoth, a sports bar at 430 South, who posted on Instagram. It “must be viewed as one of far too many acts of lawlessness, criminal behavior and violence on the street and in the city.” In five hours, 237 people “liked” the post, many forwarded it, and no one complained, McNichol said.

“The complete lack of law and order on South Street and in too many neighborhoods” is the deeper cause, to McNichol. “Protect your citizens by creating AND ENFORCING laws,” he added, with emphasis. “Arrest individuals who commit crimes” and “keep dangerous individuals from committing repeat crimes. … Allow police to do their job” so Philadelphians can “enjoy their city without endless fear, and businesses can prosper, not to crumble under the weight of fear.”

Mike Harris heads the South Street Headhouse District, said: “We have a lot of police here. It’s not necessarily a matter of more laws, it’s a matter of being able to enforce the laws.”

West Philadelphia Corridor Collaborative President Jabari K. Jones blamed the politics:

Jabari K. Jones, president of the West Philadelphia Corridor Collaborative, said that feeling of safety is what allows retail and restaurant centers such as South Street, City Avenue, or the University City business district west of Penn to draw crowds from beyond nearby residents — while many other shopping districts have a tough time attracting visitors to areas perceived as crime centers.

Jones blamed the city’s political trends of the last few years. “There’s a fear of progressive retaliation against business owners” who complain, he said. “They can get protested, they can get boycotts. So they stay silent. But more people are saying ‘enough is enough!’” He predicted that next year’s city elections would attract candidates who backed a stronger anti-crime response.

It’s not just South Street. Philadelphia has seen a rise in carjackings and robberies. The city has lost a lot of convenience stores:

“Right now we have a lot of problems with the city of Philadelphia. We are closing left and right,” said Manzoor Chughtai, the president of the Franchise Owners Association. “Robbers are coming in, they’re just robbing the place left and right.”

Chughtai says there is an increasing number of stores being shuttered due to these crimes.

“We have now lost about 15-20 stores in the city of Philadelphia. Nobody wants to take over the store. Nobody wants to run the business in the city of Philadelphia. Very dangerous,” said Chughtai.


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Jack Klompus | June 8, 2022 at 9:22 am

At one time South Street was the center of bohemian Philadelphia culture. Art house theaters, eclectic clothing shops, used book stores, art galleries – every offbeat kid in Philly looked forward to going down to South Street after school to buy used records and punk rock t-shirts and then on Saturday night catching the Rocky Horror show. It was always a safe, fun, crowded, but overall well-ordered avenue that made the downtown a great place to grow up and explore.
In recent decades it has become a ghettoized chaotic mess of lawlessness. Trash strewn everywhere, obnoxious thumping bass blasting out of every car, slutty trash shaking their fat asses on top of cars, cheap knock off crap-hawking stores, and now, of course, mass murder.
The do-nothing mayor who barely finished high school has all but checked out and the smirking dickhead Soros puppet DA blames Republicans and the NRA. Philly’s story is not unique among urban shitholes across America these days, but it’s unlikely to change given that the city more or less consists of upper class fart-sniffing rich white progressives downtown and in Chestnut Hill and a massive, ignorant, poorly educated underclass that only cares about ATVs, pitbulls, and Newports.
At least the Phillies got a new manager and are on a bit of a winning streak.

    ThePrimordialOrderedPair in reply to Jack Klompus. | June 8, 2022 at 10:50 pm

    When I was in high school we used to drive into town to hang out on South Street. It was suburban kids and italians on the weekends, in good part. When they started building the clubs on the waterfront, the italians went there, the suburban kids moved to Manayunk and South Street got taken over by blacks. There have been various shootings there since then. I remember the ten or so years that headhouse Square sat totally empty, except for a cookie shop or something.

    This shooting is part and parcel of the descent of the city back into the nasty violence that many of us remember from the 70s. I got out of Philly after the Occupooper BS, when the mayor gave the dirtbags license to turn City Hall into a sprawling homeless encampment. I had to walk blocks out of my way every morning to work … I got tired of that and left the city to return to the suburbs. I was so happy to get out of that place.

“…the smirking dickhead Soros puppet DA blames Republicans and the NRA.”

This really gets to the point of what the Soros DAs are trying to achieve.

By failing to enforce the law, the are intentionally sowing chaos and violence. The progs are purposefully sacrificing big city citizens, hoping that they’ll create so much terror that the people will beg them to confiscate all the guns and “protect them.”

    CommoChief in reply to Paul. | June 8, 2022 at 9:49 am

    That certainly seems like the plan. I doubt it works because of the internal contradiction. Folks can see everyday that LEO is unable to do very much when DA choose not to prosecute entire categories of crime. On top of the recent riots the everyday experience of a generalized breakdown of public order; aggressive bums, open drug use, unpunished petty crime, doesn’t really lend itself to supporting a message that the govt can or will protect Citizens.

Jack and Paul,
Then South Street is a microcosm for America’s rotting culture. There was a pop song done in the early 1960s called “South Street”. It told of a better place than today.

    Jack Klompus in reply to Whitewall. | June 8, 2022 at 10:06 am

    The Orlons: “Where do all the hippies meet? South Street!”
    South Street really did occupy a special place for kids growing up in Philly who wanted a taste of fun, offbeat artsy urban culture. Philadelphia was a really cool, fun, somewhat gritty blue collar city for a long time. Even the commercial corridor under the elevated train in the Kensington neighborhood was alive with neat stores that make a city tick. Now Kensington is famous for being the East Coast’s largest open air heroin market filled with the walking dead passing out and shitting on the sidewalk strewn with used syringes.
    Philadelphia hasn’t had an even slightly active let alone competitive Republican party in generations. Between the ignorant easily-led usual base of illiterate Democrats, the stranglehold of union goons, and the well-to-do white gentrifiers who just moved into the city last month, one-party rule is the rule in one of the dirtiest, most dysfunctional, depressing shitholes in the country. Couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

      Whitewall in reply to Jack Klompus. | June 8, 2022 at 10:22 am

      That’s the song. I had a good friend in college who lived in Glenside(?) a suburb and he spoke of South Street like you do.

JackinSilverSpring | June 8, 2022 at 9:59 am

The only people Philadelphians can blame are themselves for voting into office politicians who refuse to enforce the law. Yes, George Soros who in his twisted mind wants to bring sorrows on America is in part to blame for funding such politicians, but at the end of the day its the voters themselves who have allowed those politicians to gain access to power.

    Jack Klompus in reply to JackinSilverSpring. | June 8, 2022 at 10:12 am

    In Philadelphia, voters choose the DA and the election for DA always happens in the year following a Presidential election. Turnout is 15% at best. The people who actually vote in this election are the “all politics all the time” characters, many of whom are white, well-to-do “progressive” types who live tucked away in zip codes virtually untouched by crime and dysfunction. All they care about is their virtue signalling.

      JackinSilverSpring in reply to Jack Klompus. | June 8, 2022 at 10:52 am

      The other 85% by default are allowing this to happen. If they cared enough, they would vote.

      OldProf2 in reply to Jack Klompus. | June 8, 2022 at 10:56 am

      Don’t forget the dead vote. The mail-voting hyper-political democrats always go around to nursing homes and pick up all the unused ballots, vote them, and sign with an indistinct signature.
      For in-person balloting, the party apparatchiks get lists of dead people from obituaries, then bus people around with lists of the dead people they are to vote for, and a the signature they have on file for the dead person.
      The Republicans are beginning to learn to cheat, but their cheating skills are not yet on a par with the Democrats, who invented most of the methods.

E Howard Hunt | June 8, 2022 at 10:31 am

We need Charles Bronson.

At least their police chief isn’t named “Outlaw.” Oh, wait …. FWIW, she left her mark, much like a dog does, on Portland first.

    Jack Klompus in reply to MajorWood. | June 8, 2022 at 12:47 pm

    The previous commish Rick Ross was a highly respected rise in the ranks guy who went from beat cop to top man. DA Krasner and Mayor Kenney hated being outshined by a better educated, more well spoken leader in the city govt so they ousted him. He took retirement and high tailed it to Florida never looking back.

“It’s not necessarily a matter of MORE LAWS, it’s a matter of being able to enforce the laws.”

Yeah, but that only applies to Philadelphia. For the rest of the country the Democrats insist MORE LAWS is the answer.

We can send 40 Billion to Ukraine at the drop of a hat, but we can’t afford to spend any money to solve our problems at home. We will just do it on the cheap by passing laws.

Save Ukraine? Costs big bucks.
Global warming? Costs big bucks.
Drug problem? Pass a law.
School shooting problem? Pass a law.

stevewhitemd | June 8, 2022 at 1:48 pm

Once again we see the need for both ‘crime control’ and ‘stopping disorder’. It’s as if no one has heard of the broken windows theory. New York was the classic experiment — consider street life in the days of Mayor Giuliani versus Mayor Di Blasio.

chrisboltssr | June 8, 2022 at 1:58 pm

Closing down the streets stopped a pride parade? Well, there is sometimes good news in tragic events.

Krasner was overwhelmingly re-elected even though he turned the city into a killing ground.

If the people of Philadelphia want to kill themselves, I’m not going to stop them.

Arresting, prosecuting and jailing black criminals is racist so this is what you get when progressive fascists are in charge.