Dozens rallied last week at Frankford and Cottman avenues in support of a young murder victim’s family and for an end to violent crime.
The prime organizer of the April 12 event was Anne Marie Muldoon, owner of Avenue Chiropractic, 6233 Frankford Ave.
“Our safety is a human right,” Muldoon said.
Like other business people and residents, Muldoon was shocked and saddened by last month’s shooting death of Sean Toomey, 15, as he carried a case of water into his family home on the 6200 block of Mulberry St. in Wissinoming. Police believe two young men, who remain on the loose, tried to carjack Sean, a graduate of Our Lady of Calvary Elementary School.
Sean’s dad, John, and his aunt, Anna Toomey, attended the rally.
John Toomey asked all people in the crowd to hug their children and grandchildren. Like many of the speakers, he blamed District Attorney Larry Krasner for the high rate of violent crime, arguing that he sides with criminals over victims. He and others called for Krasner’s impeachment.
“Larry doesn’t like the words ‘mass incarceration,’ ” he said.
Other speakers included Bill McSwain, former U.S. Attorney and Republican candidate for governor; Carlos Vega, who challenged Krasner in last year’s Democratic primary; Sam Oropeza, the Republican candidate in the 5th Senatorial District; City Councilman David Oh; Mark LaVelle, the Republican candidate in the 177th Legislative District; and Dom Giordano, afternoon host on 1210 AM.
Pastor Bill Devlin, home from a two-week stay in Ukraine, led the crowd in prayer.
Others in attendance included state Rep. Martina White, Mayfair Business Improvement District executive director Donny Smith, congressional candidate Aaron Bashir and Pat Gallagher, a Democratic candidate in the 173rd district.
McSwain said progressive policies of protecting criminals have led to more businesses being robbed and more people looking over their shoulders, worried they will be the next victim of a violent crime. He said people have to consider the police their friends and allies.
“We have the power to restore Northeast Philadelphia to the safe, thriving environment it once was,” he said.
Vega said he appeared because organizers were having trouble recruiting Democrats to attend. The longtime former homicide prosecutor said the district attorney’s office dismisses too many cases, loses too many court trials and approves too many plea bargains that lead to immediate parole.
Oropeza said he favors “common-sense” solutions such as more community collaboration with law enforcement, tough penalties for criminals and better treatment of crime victims.
“Start fighting crime again,” he said.
LaVelle, challenging Democratic Rep. Joe Hohenstein, said he will introduce articles of impeachment against Krasner if elected.
Giordano, who had John Toomey on his show, is backing McSwain for governor and Oropeza in the state Senate race. He recalls starting at the old WWDB [96.5 FM] in 1987, likening Mayfair to TV’s Mayberry. Today, watching local news, he hears of crime in the Northeast that didn’t happen before.
Giordano described Mayor Jim Kenney as having checked out, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw as “ineffectual at best” and Krasner as a defense lawyer with power. He called on the crowd to remain strong despite the violent crime.
“Mayfair is worth fighting for,” he said. “Mayfair is not going to roll over for some out-of-town wimp like Larry Krasner.” ••