Community reacts to cop killing

September 23, 2008 10:21:20 PM PDT
The Philadelphia Orchestra held its first performance at city hall, on a day filled with tragedy for the city's police department.The killing of 30 year old Officer Patrick McDonald, and the wounding of 35 year old Officer Richard Bowes was clearly on the mind of everyone in attendance.

A visibly angry Mayor Michael Nutter addressed the crowd before the concert started, talking about the death of Officer McDonald.

"He was shot and killed. Ladies and gentlemen, he was assassinated on our streets trying to protect the rest of us," Mayor Nutter said.

He said it was important the concert go on as scheduled.

"It's important for all of us to gather together as citizens and people who care about others, to be together, to think about what has happened, to celebrate this great life, and to console each other at this tragic time in our city," Mayor Nutter said.

It was obvious the tragedy was on the minds of many people in attendance. There was anger, fear, and a stinging sense of helplessness.

"It's just appalling that this is going on," said Nancy Nigro of Center City. "Hopefully they're going to be doing something. I don't know what."

"There is just no protection for any of them. I think the criminals are far advanced, far ahead of them. It's very frightening," said Beatrice Mendez of Center City.

"It's one thing for it to be other people, but when it comes to authorities it just shows disrespect. It's a disregard for life," said Leroy Smith of South Philadelphia.

Officer McDonald is the fourth officer killed within the past year. People blame lax gun laws and a culture of violence.

Valen Tynes Smith says raising two young children in the city is proving to be challenging.

"It's kind of rough to let them know, in spite of what they hear and see, to do the right thing. That's what they we try to teach them," Smith said.

Mayor Nutter added that everyone in the city must stand together to protect the men and women who protect them.

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