PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Day one of an emergency city council committee hearing in Philadelphia to discuss gun violence has concluded. District Attorney Larry Krasner got emotional Tuesday morning as he talked about 7-year-old Zamar Jones, who was fatally shot in gun crossfire in West Philadelphia.
City leaders are begging for people to put down their guns saying gun violence across the city is out of hand.
Statistics show 259 people have been murdered in Philadelphia to date in 2020. That’s 31% higher than August of 2019.
Philadelphia police officers have responded to 1,891 shooting incidents in the city in 2020.
That’s a 55% increase from this time last year.
There have been 102 children on record who have been shot so far in the city in 2020.
City council has been discussing gun violence throughout the morning.
Councilmember Jamie Gauthier said gun violence is impacting the city in ways not seen in decades.
The council members peppered police officials and District Attorney Larry Krasner with questions.
Krasner said the court system takes some of the blame. He said his office does seek high bail for gun crime suspects.
Krasner also said people on probation are not being supervised as well as they should be.
In some cases, urine tests to test for drugs haven’t been taken for months due to the pandemic.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw testified that the department does not necessarily have fewer officers, but the department has had to redeploy some officers.
Commissioner Outlaw said the department’s violence reduction plan focuses on community engagement and inclusion, organizational excellence and social justice reforms.
The hearing will resume at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday for day 2.
There will be a complete wrap up of today’s hearing on Eyewitness News at 4 p.m., 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.