Events on what may be the city's worst block provide a stark glimpse into a Philly many Philadelphians never see. One former resident survived to tell the tale.
The whole block is now destroyed.
Six more houses had their windows blasted out, their interiors gutted and graffitied. Hurley Street looks like a war zone, now literally. Rough neighborhoods are compared to war zones all the time. You hear them called Beirut.
Usually it's an overstatement. This time it's not.
Hurley Street looks like tanks rolled past, firing at random. The destruction is inexplicable, a product of bestial rage. This is madness. This is a place forsaken by society, forsaken by its own people.
The hopelessness of it all is unbearable.
Jeff Deeney is a freelance writer in Philadelphia who covers urban poverty and drug culture. Comments on this story can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
It's a month later, and Shawn says Ramon's still in jail. He was transferred upstate to Graterford because the county lockup is overcrowded. Turns out Lamar was grazed in the shooting. He bounced back and hit the streets again a couple days later.
Shawn thinks Ramon will be released after the charges are dropped. The likelihood of Lamar going to court and bearing witness against him are diminished now that she says Lamar got out of the hospital and went straight to prison a couple days later for beating up his mother. Lamar already missed a court date, causing Ramon's case to be continued. Shawn thinks Ramon will be home by December.
The rest of Lamar's family still lives on Hurley Street despite the fact they were evicted not long after the blowout. It looks like they intend to squat until the sheriff slaps a lock on the front door. Maybe then, once Lamar and his crew have moved on, Hurley Street will see some peace.