A Shooting Barricaded a Philly Neighborhood. Hear From People Who Experienced It.
Elizabeth Estrada - August 16, 2019
Nearly eight hours locked out of your house. A blitz of armed police officers taking over several blocks. No buses. Day care centers on lockdown. Fear and the constant buzz of low-flying helicopters above.
Nicetown-Tioga experienced all of this on Wednesday. Then came the national attention, the judgmental tweets from President Donald Trump, and the opportunistic opinions of 2020 presidential candidates. None of these people had likely ever considered this neighborhood before.
We asked a few members of the Nicetown-Tioga community to tell us about their experience of their neighborhood, and the event that shut it down it on Wednesday.
J. Jondhi Harrell, the Center for Returning Citizens
Nicetown is primarily a community of hardworking families who are struggling to build lives for themselves. People in Nicetown go to work every day. They raise their children. They are concerned with their quality of life, quality of education.
Nicetown is just like any other community in Philadelphia. We have our challenges. There’s high poverty, high crime rates. But anytime you have high poverty, you’re gonna have high crime rates. That’s a given. If the economy of a community is controlled by those outside of the community, there’s going to be problems, and nobody talks about that. Where are the black store owners in our community? Why can’t a person get a loan to open up a storefront business? Why are there no community development programs with real resources, providing help in Nicetown? Those should be the questions being asked.
We see Maurice Hills every day. We help them find jobs. We do counseling. We talk to them about their responsibilities as young black men and how we can rebuild our community. That sort of reporting never gets covered. Not on a local level, definitely not nationally.
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