PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — City Council members are calling for an end to the growing problem of gun violence in Philadelphia. Day 2 of a City Council committee hearing addressing the surge in gun violence took place Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw were peppered by City Council members.
Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson joined Eyewitness News ahead of Wednesday’s hearing.
So far this year, there has been a sharp increase in gun violence across the city. Shootings are up 55%, murders are up 31% and 102 children have been shot in Philadelphia.
Johnson says the city is in a state of emergency, calling the murders of children, women and young people “totally unacceptable.”
“Through the hearing, we’re having today, we’re meeting with the officers of violence prevention that represents the mayor, we’re meeting with the Philadelphia School District as well as the office of behavioral health and probation and parole to get recommendations and most importantly answers as to what are we doing around the city to address the senseless gun violence that we are seeing here in the City of Philadelphia,” Johnson said. “Most importantly are we hand-in-hand aggressively with passion making sure we are reducing the level of gun violence and making sure our children are safe.”
Johnson says he understands the frustration and anger residents are feeling regarding the violence.
“We should be advocating for our young people to make sure they have trauma-informed services inside of the Philadelphia School District because we know hurt people, hurt people. We need to make sure we have conflict resolution programs inside our schools for our young people so they can resolve conflicts without picking up a gun.”
He believes it’s also important for young people to have job opportunities and after school activities available to them so they don’t stray towards negative activities.
The number of illegal guns on the streets is also an issue. Johnson says there is “no way” a 14 or 15-year-old should have a 9 MM gun with a clip that holds 15 bullets.
“We have to track down where the illegal guns are coming from and most importantly that those who have lost loved ones to gun violence receive justice for those who have been taken away from them,” Johnson said.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW.