Halfway through last night's Democratic debate, reporters in the spin room were momentarily distracted by the sounds of a dozen police cars whizzing down an adjacent road with lights flashing and sirens going full blast. Then we heard the churning of a helicopter.
The police, in turns out, were speeding to the scene of a shooting about eight blocks from the debate hall. A police officer named Mariano Santiago was wounded in the shoulder. He'll be ok. The shooter disappeared into a nearby mass of bridges and tunnels.
Crime in Philly is at its highest levels since the mid 1990s. The same in Dallas, Oakland, Phoenix, Orlando, Baltimore and elsewhere. Philly recorded 406 murders last year. Nationwide, the crime rate rose nearly two percent.
The presidential candidates haven't talked about the crime rate all that much. One candidate, Joe Biden, has new legislation in Congress to fund more police officers. (The Republicans have talked about it a little more, but only when prompted.).
Maybe violent crime isn't a problem in Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina, although residents of Manchester can certainly disagree. Biden, in point of fact, would seem to the guy the turn to: his 1994 crime bill turned into the Clinton crime bill and he takes partial credit for the some of crime reduction that so famously is attributed to Rudy Giuliani.
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