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Trying to clean up the streets before Halloween, the Philly Sheriff's office arrests 12 drivers wanted on outstanding DUI warrants.

While some think of holidays like the night before Thanksgiving and St. Patrick's Day, where people get together and drinking is common, as the worst nights for DUI, another dangerous night is Halloween. 

That's because it's the night when children and young people go out trick-or treating, explained Philly Sheriff Jewell Williams, and the most common night when pedestrians are injured by drunk drivers.

"We're looking at a specific issues that plague our children, and we're looking at Halloween," Williams said. "If the kids don't get hit, then an adult gets hit because the adults trying to protect the kids."

To make the streets a little safer on All Hallow's Eve, the Sheriff's office conducted an overnight raid from 2 to 8 a.m. on Oct. 31 – arresting twelve individuals who had outstanding warrants for driving under the influence.

 That's twelve that would be out in the street," Williams said. "That vehicle he is driving becomes a weapon – 3,000 pounds, at 60 miles per hour. So we're saving lives."

"If a person has an outstanding DUI warrant and doesn't show up for court, then they're at risk, because they're not dealing with their alcoholism," Williams said. "If you go to court, the courts offer you some kind of program to help you through your alcoholism or opiate problems. ... When you don't show up in court, then you will never know about the programs, that will save you and save the public."

Nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 44 percent of fatal car crashes on Halloween from 2012 to 2016 involved a drunk driver, and 14 percent of pedestrian fatalities involved impaired drivers.

In Pennsylvania alone, 23 percent of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween from 2012 to 2016 involved an intoxicated driver.

Approximately 10,000 people die every year in the U.S. in drunk-driving crashes, roughly 29 people a day.

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Original article by Michael D'Onforio can be found here


Gun violence has scarred John Solomon.


One scar runs nearly 6 inches up Solomon’s left tricep toward his shoulder, the result of surgery after a bullet struck him on its way into his chest when he was 15.


“But the true reminder is inside of me,” Solomon said as he stood at the intersection of West Huntington and North Chadwick streets in North Philadelphia on Monday. “It’s not a physical thing,” the 26-year-old added. “It’s the trauma that I went through. It’s the trauma: That’s the biggest reminder.”


With shootings on the rise in the city, Solomon joined a coalition of Black men and community groups — along with Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams — who called for a cease-fire and halt to the shootings. “We are in a crisis, particularly the African-American community,” said Bilal Qayyum, founder and president of the Father’s Day Rally Committee.


The city has logged 234 homicides this year as of Sunday, an increase of 8 percent from the same time in 2017, according to the Philadelphia Police Department’s online database. About 84 percent of those killed have been overwhelmingly Black: 177 Black men and 20 Black women, according to a police spokesman.


Through Sunday, there also had been 1,193 shooting incidents with 961 shooting victims among them, said the police spokesman. One of the most recent shootings happened at the location of the press conference; a 32-year-old man was shot and killed there last week. A makeshift memorial — a photo, balloons, candles and stuffed animals — sat at the base of a telephone pole nearby. Resident Taaj Hall, 30, said that man was his long-time friend, Earl McCormick. Philadelphia police did not respond to a request to confirm the identity of the man who was killed.


“People are dying; people are losing their life,” Hall said. “You can’t get your life back. You can’t push replay. You can’t get it back, so we need some people to care to get together to try to stop it (gun violence).”


Williams, the sheriff, said he and groups have been working for years to reduce gun violence, “but the message is just not getting there.”


“So we’re calling on people to talk it out, and don’t shoot it out,” Williams said.


Mell Wells, president of One Day at a Time, said Black communities have to admit there is a problem. “It’s time to start raising hell about what we’re doing to one another,” he said. “About these babies who are dying in our street. … we’ve got to start ... putting down the guns and start helping out one another by watching each others’ back.”


Terry Starks, founder and executive director of the Urban Crisis Response Center, said neighborhoods need more community organizing, community engagement and youth programs. “Once the community comes out, then — like I said, aunties and uncles comes out — a lot of times guys aren’t going to do dumb stuff because their family is out,” Starks said.


Qayyum said the coalition will initiate jobs projects and programs to encourage the proliferation of Black-owned businesses before the end of the year with the goal of reducing gun violence. After wielding guns himself in his youth and spending five years in jail, Solomon co-founded Endangered Kind, a community group that he co-runs that addresses issues in the neighborhood.


Solomon said North Philadelphia neighborhood was in a “state of survival,” where residents were fearful and many carry guns because of that fear.

“When I wake up and come out here, I just know it’s danger,” he said. “There’s good things about the neighborhood, but you can’t deny the fact that it’s dangerous out here.”


Solomon said he believed there remains a disconnect between community leaders and those causing the violence. “We haven’t been effective at being proactive,” Solomon said. “We can come to a rally or press conference, it doesn’t take any work to do that,” he added. “You know: Somebody gets killed, we come out here and we speak. That’s easy; that’s the easy part.

But to actually be proactive and connect with these guys on a personal level to even begin to have a chance to stop the issue, that’s a whole other ballgame.”

This article was originally posted at

By Katherine Scott

Friday, August 24, 2018 01:32PM


A citywide raid that landed more than a dozen wanted fugitives in police custody overnight.

Law enforcement fanned out across Philadelphia, rounding up 17 people as part of Operation Night Sweep.

"Today is a good day for the City of Philadelphia," said Sheriff Jewell Williams.

Officials say some of the suspects tried to avoid capture by unscrewing lightbulbs to create darkness or attempted to hide.

Philadelphia enlisted help from law enforcement from Bucks, Chester, and Delaware counties, as well as state and city police.


Sheriff Williams said his office is out serving warrants every day, but a concentrated effort like this helps chip away at the massive backlog of cases.

The charges against the alleged fugitives include robbery, gun violations, drug offenses and aggravated assault.

Some were arrested for civil matters, such as delinquent child support. This raid could potentially net more than $168,000 in outstanding child support, right in time for the school year.

"We know the school year starts on Monday in the city of Philadelphia, and we want to see these parents get some of that money that they deserve to have for child support and custody matters," said Williams.

There are many more wanted, the sheriff says. Often people turn themselves in after seeing the news of one of these sweeps to avoid the embarrassment of being caught up in the next one.

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Find the original article by Bastiaan Slabbers here To translate, please visit Google Translate and select your language.

The rhythm of African drums swelled and bounced off Center City high rises as floats rounded City Hall on Saturday during the annual Juneteenth parade, commemorating the announcement of the abolition of slavery on June 19, 1865.

For the third year, floats rolled from City Hall to Penn’s Landing in a vibrant celebration of African culture and traditions. Participant Leighdy Morris, Queen of the RBG Brigade, said the celebration should be a national holiday similar to the Fourth of July.

On the second float of the parade a band performed the Redemption Song by Bob Marley. A few light drops of rain did not seem to hinder the participants as they made their way over the parade route.

Among the participants in the parade were Kenneth Gamble of music producing duo Gamble & Huff, Congressman Dwight Evans, Sheriff Jewell Williams, students, Police Explorer cadets, dance and performance ensembles, and many others.

This was written in English. For a translation, please visit Google Translate and select your language.

June 23, 2018 — Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams and the Sheriff’s Office Color Guard helped to lead the Philadelphia Juneteenth parade and launched his annual “Summer of Peace” at the Juneteenth Festival this weekend.

The Sheriff is encouraging young people to stay away from all forms of violence. At “pop-ups” and outreach events throughout the summer, the Office will give away free gunlocks and offer children and adults an opportunity to take a “gun safety” pledge to make sure all firearms in the home are safely secured. On social media, the office is promoting an antiviolence message: “Let's talk it out. Don’t shoot it out”. Citizens of all ages and all parts of our city can help to spread the message through short videos that will be posted on the Sheriff Office Facebook pages.

“We all love the summer: the sunshine, vacations, barbeque, time with friends and family. But I want to encourage our young people to have a peaceful summer and stay away from the conflicts that lead to tragic and senseless violence. So let’s talk it out, don’t shoot it out,” said Sheriff Jewell Williams.

At the Juneteenth Parade, the message was enthusiastically received by a many of the parade participants and viewers: honored members of the historic Tuskegee Airmen, young drill team members, the Masonic Lodge, a contingent of renowned Buffalo Soldiers as well as international visitors to the city’s historic monuments. They will be the first to pass along the message for the Summer of Peace, 2018.