Last Words

Philadelphians speak out soberly about the city's spreading crime epidemic.

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 4 | Posted Nov. 6, 2007

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Stephen Yazvac

Age: 23
Neighborhood: West Philadelphia.
Occupation: Musician.

"Philly is less sterile than New York. The class and race tension is more palpable here. I'm more wary walking down the street at night. I don't know if there's a solution to crime as long as there's such a disparity between people with money and people without it. Philosophically I'm against gun control, but I don't own a gun and never would. So if the city wants to crack down on illegal guns, I'd support stuff like that."


Shawn Smith

Age: 24
Neighborhood: West Oak Lane.
Occupation: Security guard.

"The street has more [guns] than the cops do. And they get it for half the price. AKs, M-16s. They have specific .50-caliber guns called cop killers that go through a level-three bulletproof vest. That's top of the line. Everyone has a gun these days. It's big business--just like drugs. And the mentality of the urban inner city--there's no respect for authority. The guys in blue are the good guys. But according to the 'hood, they're the bad guys--stopping the cash flow, locking people up. It's crazy the way that cop got popped. I'm bitter and saddened about the whole situation. That could happen to me. If I walked in there, they would've shot me too. He didn't deserve that. That was just cold. And that was a nice neighborhood too. Three cops in one week--that's scary. And you can feel the anxiety in my neighborhood. They've got the choppers everywhere. It feels like a bad dream."


Mark Ford

Age: 30
Neighborhood: Darby.
Occupation: Works in the administration department at Whole Foods.

"We should have really harsh laws like in Third World countries. If a person commits a crime, we should be chopping off their arms and putting them to death in front of the firing squad. Because they're not scared of jail. They get stripes for going to jail. Unfortunately a lot of these kids come from broken homes--there's nothing the government can do about that. I think they should go back to Operation Safe Streets, where they had the cops walking and patrolling."


Katie Walker

Age: 40
Neighborhood: West Philadelphia.
Occupation: Student.

"The rappers say, 'I started out by doing drugs and dealing, and that's how I made it big,' and the kids go out and they think that's how they're supposed to act to make it. There aren't enough activities here for them--not even sports. I have an 18-year-old son, and when he started getting into trouble, I made him start doing after-school activities, and he's doing really well now."

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Comments 1 - 4 of 4
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1. Joey Showers said... on Jan 9, 2009 at 08:04PM

“Andre Mathis went to jail for abusing children, both sexually and physically. He is also known for beating and stalking women. He is the last person you should get advise from on how to stop violence. He is a piece of trash!”

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2. victim said... on Jan 10, 2009 at 08:49PM

“ First of all, Andre Mathis' real name is Aundra Bruce Mathis. I sincerely doubt that he is a construction worker, too. When I knew him, he was selling his body to gay men out of Pentoney"s Bar. He is a PEDIPHILE, CHILD ABUSER, WOMAN ABUSER, LOSER, and a poor excuse for a man, a waste of his father's sperm, and should be incarcerated for the rest of his worthless life.”

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3. Laura Schaeffer said... on Jan 10, 2009 at 09:14PM

“Stop taking advise from people like Andre Mathis, Philly. This man is a sex-offender and a pediphile. Look up his criminal record. It's all documented. ”

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4. Nikki said... on Jul 14, 2013 at 04:47PM

“Please help me get more info on this dude. He claims to be my dad and wants contact with me and my son. I've tried to google his record but I can't get it.”


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