Philly officers lead peace walk in violence-plagued community: 'We have to stop being scared'

Shootings in the 12th district are up 30% from this time last year
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- On Monday night, it was a call for calm in one Philadelphia community that's been plagued with crime.

12th district officers, clergy and community members pounded the pavement, making their presence known on corners riddled with violence.

"We still have these young individuals, robbing, killing. We're going to tackle these blocks," said an organizer.

Shootings in the 12th district are up 30% from this time last year, with 135 gunshot victims. And just over the weekend, one of the district's police cars was set on fire. The men responsible were arrested.

"It's very concerning thing to see violence against police officers, but it's not just the police officers because we have violence in this community. We're not going to tolerate violence in our streets," said Capt. Scott Drissel, the commanding officer of the 12th district.

"My kids spent the whole summer in the house due to two things: the pandemic of COVID-19, and the pandemic of violence," said Leila Hall-Johnson.

READ MORE: 2 arrested for Philadelphia police car arson in West Philly; police say not related to previous car fires

On Monday night, those watching from their windows, front steps and sidewalks say the responsibility to step up also falls on the community.

"We have to come out of houses. We have to stop being scared. We have to stop letting violence just ravage our community," she said.

To date, 23 homicides have been recorded in the district. The rising violence is on pace to surpass last year's number of 29 murders.
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