Democratic congresswoman who sponsored police defunding bill carjacked in crime-surging Philadelphia
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Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Penn.) was carjacked at gunpoint in Philadelphia on Wednesday as crime continues to surge in major cities across the country.
“Wednesday afternoon, at around 2:45 p.m., Congresswoman Scanlon was carjacked at gunpoint in FDR Park following a meeting at that location,” Scanlon’s office said in a statement. The Congresswoman was physically unharmed. She thanks the Philadelphia Police Department for their swift response, and appreciates the efforts of both the Sergeant at Arms in D.C. and her local police department for coordinating with Philly PD to ensure her continued safety.”
<strong>WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 21: Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) speaks at a news conference on the Protecting Our Democracy Act, at the U.S. Capitol on September 21, 2021 in Washington, DC. . (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)</strong>
Scanlon’s phone and purse were stolen by the attacker, according to WPVI-TV.
Police say Scanlon was approached by two black males, aged approximately 20-30, as she walked to her vehicle before they demanded she hand them the keys. Scanlon handed over the keys to her blue 2017 Acura MDX and one of the suspects drove away in it while the other drove away in a dark-colored SUV.
Scanlon represents Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District, which includes part of South Philadelphia.
In 2021 so far, the Philadelphia Police Department has reported 521 homicides, which is a 13% increase compared to 2020 and the city’s highest number of killings since at least 2007. Incidents involving a shooting have also increased by 4.4%, and the number of people who are victims of a shooting has risen by almost 3% over the past year.
The City of Philadelphia is seeing at least an 80% increase in carjackings in 2021, compared to the total number in 2020, police told FOX 29 earlier this month.
Scanlon was not the first prominent Democratic official to be carjacked in a crime-ridden city in the last 24 hours. Last night, Illinois’ Democratic state Senate majority leader Sen. Kimberly Lightford and her husband were carjacked in Chicago, where crime has been surging.
“First and foremost, I am thankful that my husband and I are alive and physically unharmed,” Lightford said in a statement. “I am trying to process the trauma of what happened. I want to thank everyone who has offered their love and support. I want to especially thank Mayor Katrina Thompson and the Broadview Police Department for their quick and thorough response.”
Officers with the Chicago Police Department
(Chicago Police Department)
Both Scanlon and Lightford have been staunch supporters of police reforms in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in the summer of 2020.
Rep. Scanlon is one of 125 co-sponsors of the Mental Health Justice Act, which aimed to place some police officers as first responders with mental health specialists. All of the bill’s sponsors are Democrats. The bill’s text says its purpose is “To authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to award grants to States and political subdivisions of States to hire, employ, train, and dispatch mental health professionals to respond in lieu of law enforcement officers in emergencies involving one or more persons with a mental illness or an intellectual or developmental disability, and for other purposes.”
At the time the Mental Health Justice Act was introduced in February 2021, with Scanlon on board as one of its original co-sponsors, The Hill reported, “Congress wants to make it easier for state and local governments to defund the police by instead funding mental health services and empowering them to respond to emergency calls instead of armed officers.”
Fox News’ Adam Sabes contributed to this report
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