Philadelphians speak out soberly about the city's spreading crime epidemic.
"Everyone has witnessed violence in the city. People have to stand up and confront the right people. Drugs are probably one of the main reasons. You go in any drug-ridden area, there's always more violence. I'm used to seeing certain stuff, so it doesn't really bother me. Are things worse? Yeah. You notice a lot of neighborhoods have changed."
Neighborhood: West Oak Lane.
"I'm not sure where [the guy who shot the cop] could be. He shot him and left. I'm so scared."
Neighborhood: Spring Garden.
"If they shoot cops, there's no telling who they'll shoot next. One guy wants to be bigger than the next guy, so instead of fighting he'll pull out a gun. People are scared to get their ass kicked. To me it's about territory and respect. Like if somebody snatches your purse, they call it stealing. I call it disrespect. He disrespects you by coming into your space. He doesn't know you from a can of paint. Basically it's like being a bully. There's always gonna be shootings because if somebody wants a gun and they've got the money, they're going to get it."
Neighborhood: West Oak Lane/Mt. Airy.
Occupation: Barbershop owner (in the Spring Garden section).
"I think we could use more cameras probably. Even though I don't like being watched--the whole Big Brother thing. I never had a gun before, but I had to get a permit and buy one when I got the shop. We've had no problems here, but there have been two killings at the drug corner nearby. I think stop-and-frisk is pretty cool as long as there's probable cause and they don't just walk up on people. I've got three kids--my daughter's 21, and my two sons are 19 and 18. The older son is at La Salle University. My other son is in high school. He's going into the military. I don't want him in the military, but I'd rather him over there than out here."
PW's Fall Guide 2014
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