Skip to content
Crime & Justice
Link copied to clipboard

D.A. tours Olney, hopes to connect with neighbors

A man in Kensington was shot in the thigh at about 10:45 Thursday night, and about five minutes later another man was shot in the foot in North Philadelphia.

When police asked each victim for information concerning the suspects who shot them, the men decided to keep quiet.

District Attorney Seth Williams walked with police, members of the religious community and neighbors along 5th Street in Olney Friday night, hoping to encourage neighbors to feel comfortable cooperating with law enforcement, and to not be reluctant to provide police with crucial information following a crime.

"The goal isn't to scare people, but to really empower and uplift people as we're walking," Williams said, "We have to break down the barriers."

From 5th and Olney, Williams and others walked toward Rockland Street and back, passing the places where two men were shot and killed.

When the walk concluded at about 9:45 p.m., the group stopped on a corner where Rev. Bob James of Mentoring Men Ministries prayed for peace and cooperation between neighbors and law enforcement.

"I think that it's gonna take time for the community to embrace the ideology of helping the police," James said, "It's a start."

Williams began walking tours of Philadelphia's neighborhoods last year, and said the community outreach initiative is likely to become part of his summer routine after gaining support from neighbors and the police department.

He plans to continue the walking tours through September, in hopes of making meaningful connections with neighbors in communities struggling with violence.

"There are far too many street corners littered with teddy bears and balloons as memorials to these young lives that were lost too soon," Williams said.