The Philadelphia Police Department just released their crime statistics report for 2012 so it comes as no surprise that this year wasn’t a very good one in this city. The insanity and mayhem just seemed to continue as the months dragged on. Let’s take a look at some of the not so highlights of the past year.
In January, it was reported that they arrested Dr. Kermit Gosnell who ran an abortion clinic in West Philadelphia and preyed on the desperation of poor minority women who came to him seeking help with unwanted pregnancies. He was also a candy man. He gave out over 1 million pills of Oxycontin and Alprazolam to anyone who had the money.
Dr. Gosnell was charged with murdering seven babies and one woman who died of complications during a botched late-term abortion. The babies, who were born alive, had their spinal cords snapped in order to kill them. When the police raided the clinic they found hundreds of jars and garbage bags filled with dead fetuses. Dr. Gosnell, who made over $1 million dollars performing these abortions, has yet to go to trial and is being held at the Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia. District Attorney Seth Williams has stated that he intends to seek the death penalty.
In February, newly elected Sheriff Jewell Williams wanted the city to buy him a $38,000, pimped-out Chevy Tahoe SUV. He claimed that the department’s 2012 Ford Escape SUV wasn’t suitable for him. He also wanted the city to shell out $3,000 for decals with his name on them to put on the department’s 54 vehicles.
Williams reasoning for these two expenses was that he felt that no one knows that he’s the new sheriff (even though people had to vote for him) and driving around in a $38,000 SUV would separate the fact that he’s new and not part of the negative cloud that presided over the department. Mayor Nutter denied all of his demands.
In April, two firefighters died when an abandoned factory located in the Kensington section of Philly went up in flames. The incident cast a light on properties that were bought and then abandoned by people who don’t reside within the city limits as well as the city’s inability to hold these owners accountable.
The city attempted to spin the problem by stating that the Licenses & Inspection Department had cited them four times and that $72,000 in back taxes were owed; that they were going to court again in a couple of weeks in an attempt to put the building up for auction. The real issue was that the building had been abandoned for almost a decade and the city was just now actually going to do something.
Also in April, former police sergeant Frank Tepper was found guilty of the 2009 murder of Billy Panas Jr. and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. During the trial, it was revealed that Tepper was a bad cop and had been written up 57 times for various offenses such as pistol whipping a motorist, beating up two boys, and aiming his gun at a 10 year old. In May, the family of the victim filed papers in court in an effort to sue the city and the police department for keeping an unstable cop on the force.
Not everything was all that bad, however. In 2012, city residents also got to see rapper Jay-Z perform at the Art Museum, Peter Frampton came alive, Philadelphia favorites, The Roots, held their yearly concert called The Festival, Superstorm Sandy spared the City of Brotherly Love, Jerry Sandusky finally got what was coming to him, and Election Day in the city went off without a hitch.