Philadelphia City Council proposes $500K allocation to relocate residents threatened by violence

"They set my house on fire," said Harrowgate block captain Sonja Bingham.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Tackling gun violence in Philadelphia and keeping families safe takes input from city leaders and the police department. But citizens also have a role to play.

Investigators rely on witnesses to see something and say something but the fear of retaliation means many stay silent.

"I have two kids, I have a family, is it really worth it?" asked mother Juliana.

Juliana says she asks herself that question every time she thinks about cooperating in a criminal investigation.

Fearing retaliation, she didn't want to give her full name.

Juliana says she has been threatened in the past for cooperating with the police.

Another mother dodged bullets outside her home, waiting over a year to be relocated after her son cooperated with authorities in a murder case.

"They set my house on fire," said Harrowgate block captain Sonja Bingham.

Bingham's front stoop was torched in retaliation in September.

Philadelphia City Council is now pushing to authorize $500,000 for relocation of city residents threatened by criminal activity in their neighborhoods.

"We need to save lives," said Councilmember David Oh. "If people know that people who cooperate with police are shot and killed or harmed, it encourages people not to cooperate. We already have that problem, so this makes matters worst."

Activist Taleah Taylor works with getting these families relocated.

"There's a backlog of families. When you say you're going to protect them, you need to protect them. Not leave them in the line of fire to keep getting hurt, keep being abused and victimized," said Sister Taleah Taylor with City of Dreams Coalition.

As for Juliana, she's moving out of the city this month, leaving behind friends and her American dream.

"I bought my house because it's my dream and like you have to go because there's no way out," she said.


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