Last week, I was mugged.
It wasn’t as bad as it sounds, because I didn’t suffer any physical injuries beyond a slight bruise to the hip where the two muggers shoved me into the self-service kiosk at CVS. It was one of those classic “push and grab” affairs, where one person distracts you by pretending to accidentally bump into you and the other takes your wallet.
I didn’t make a police report, because I knew it wouldn’t do any good in a city like Philadelphia, where we had more than 500 homicides last year, many of them unsolved. The Philadelphia justice system has more to worry about than Christine Flower’s stolen credit cards.
I was fortunate I didn’t suffer any physical injuries, unlike so many Philadelphians who lost their lives because of policies championed by Democratic District Attorney Larry Krasner.
Krasner and his supporters seem to believe it is a violation of an offender’s civil rights to force them to pay bail, serve appropriate sentences for violent crimes, and be accountable for breaking the law.
The saddest cases are the ones where the DA has completely ignored the pleas of victims and their family members, as he did with the family of Sean Schellenger, who was knifed to death by a man who, today, is living his best life.
Krasner reduced the charges against the killer, Michael White, from first-degree murder to third-degree murder and then again on the eve of trial to voluntary manslaughter. A jury acquitted White of even that charge. At the time of the killing, White was sympathetically described in the media as a promising young man who wanted to write poetry.
Murder is horrific. Rape is evil. Shootings and mayhem make a city unlivable. But so do the smaller crimes that create a sense of unease, of fear, of apprehension. When people feel that they cannot safely walk into a CVS in a relatively placid part of the city, that is the small pebble that creates the larger ripple that creates the tsunami of an exodus.
Rudy Giuliani knew this over 30 years ago. While the former mayor of New York is now the laughingstock of the liberal elites and their friends in the mainstream media, those of us who were alive and visiting the Big Apple in the 1990s understood just how much Giuliani’s “broken windows” theory made sense. It was a recognition that small crimes, like the broken window of a car smashed to grab a radio or other items, created an environment that made people feel as if they lived in an armed camp.
When you prosecute the smaller crimes, you give residents a sense they matter You help them feel as if their lives are more important than the lives of the people preying upon them. In the process, you encourage other people to relocate to the city, repopulating it with productive human beings who don't make a living as parasites on the sweat of others.
There are a lot of broken windows in Philadelphia. When I take my evening walks, I see the refuse of drug users littering the sidewalks, excrement and castoffs of half-eaten meals. This is the current state of the city of Mayor Jim Kenney, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw and the aforementioned Larry Krasner. The lack of concern is manifest.
Currently, there is little reason for me to love this city. But as Pascale wrote, the heart has its reasons that reason knows nothing of.
To me, Philadelphia is the surprise at the end of the Market Frankford El, the magical place I visited as a child with my grandparents. It is the place where I spent Saturdays in the 1960s, with my father and younger brothers. It is the place where I first started practicing law, and where I experienced a Super Bowl, and where I became an adult. It has been the bedrock of my existence for many years. And it hurts to see what someone like Larry Krasner, who cares very little for people like me, who pays her taxes and doesn’t rob others of their hard-earned property, has done to the city.
That’s why I didn’t report the fact that I was a crime victim. There are too many broken windows in this city, too many shrugged shoulders, and too many people in authority who care for the rights of the offenders over the rights of those who simply want to live in peace and prosperity.
In the end, it’s not just the windows that are broken.
Copyright 2023 Christine Flowers, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.
Christine Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times, and can be reached at [email protected]