Jimmie Moore, the former Philadelphia Municipal Court judge challenging U.S. Rep. Bob Brady for the 1st Congressional District in the April 24 Democratic primary election, just called on the U.S. Army National Guard to be deployed in the streets of the city to combat crime.
Brady, through a spokesman, declined to comment on Moore's call.
UPDATE, 5:40 pm: Mark McDonald, a spokesman for Mayor Nutter, calls Moore's call for the National Guard deployment "a misguided proposal by a political candidate in search of media attention."
Here's Moore's statement:
Enough is Enough: Call in the Guard
The murder rate in this city has reached epidemic proportions. Our local law enforcement agencies are stretched to the limit, and that is why I am calling for the support of the National Guard to support the brave men and women of the Philadelphia Police Department in their efforts to not only respond to but also prevent the record levels of violent crime spreading across the city and leading to a state of emergency. We are only one month into 2012 and there are already 32 murders on the books, that’s more than a murder a day.
The National Guard is frequently called on to aide cities in crisis, including post-Katrina New Orleans, Camden, and Chicago. The presence of this arm of the military can have a proactive effect on communities through the prevention of violent crime. Philadelphia has seen a rise in unprovoked acts of violence that requires the most drastic of measures, including the fatal beating of a recent Temple graduate in Old City, and the Vietnam veteran assaulted by teens in Olney. That is why the presence of the National Guard is urgently needed in the city; we must not be a silent party to this culture of crime.
A particularly senseless act of violence this past weekend involving a cab driver and passenger brought to light the paralysis of a community that sits and watches in terror as these brazen assaults were perpetrated before their eyes. Our residents are gripped with fear; this is not a time to put sunglasses over the black eye that is this violent scourge upon our city: it is time to move forward and go to the doctor. Yes, we should be ashamed that a small number of criminal s have taken over our neighborhoods, but we must not be so ashamed and proud that we turn our backs on the most vulnerable to save face in front of the nation, and if that means drawing national attention to the danger in our midst, then so be it. It is time to take the bold action of asking for the federal government to step in and help us take back the city.
I applaud the law enforcement officers and public officials who work tirelessly to make this city a safer place to live. The federal government should be providing all available resources to help these public servants protect the citizens of Philadelphia, and that includes the deployment of the National Guard to patrol and provide surveillance in our most at-risk neighborhoods and populations. Just like the community leaders in the movie “Jaws” didn’t want to close the beach down because it would be bad for tourism and a black eye on their town, there will be those that don’t want to stigma of having what they might call martial law in Killadelphia. Meanwhile, we cannot stand idly by while the jaws of violence are terrorizing, maiming, and killing our neighbors. In 2011 Philadelphia had the highest murder rate of large cities in this country. Building a coalition between local and national law enforcement bodies is the solution we need to defeat the violence that has swept across our city, and overcome the fear that has taken hold in our communities.