REALITY CHECK: OF COURSE, IT WAS NICETOWN
Written by Charles Ellison on August 15, 2019
The shootout with city police yesterday was in a struggling stretch of North Philly that has too often seen violence. WURD’s afternoon host wonders if now the neighborhood will get some help
As worried Philadelphians and the world were gripped by images of a fierce, 8-hour standoff of gun battles and crouching police, many Philadelphians weren’t really all that surprised by one aspect: where it went down.
Nicetown may be one of the more oxymoronic designations for a large city neighborhood brutally tucked into an armpit corner of North Philadelphia. There are constant jokes surrounding its name, even while most of its residents have struggled to carve out a defiant contradiction of normalcy. Wednesday’s epic shootout is a sign of Nicetown-Tioga’s generations-long war with itself and the many problems that have plagued it.
Of course, a situation where a half-dozen Philadelphia police officers are shot—thankfully, perhaps miraculously, doing okay—is a situation that will dramatically alter the city’s usual discourse on violence. Philly has had a growing gun violence problem for a while; it’s steadily creeped into crisis status. While largely confined to the city’s poorest pockets, it seemed to take a new turn with a random afternoon shooting in Center City this Monday. Perhaps that began to shake half-slumbering city officials who work, eat and play in the city’s central district, a cloud of worry suddenly darkening the sidewalk beneath them upon realization the violence could begin spreading into Philly’s hub of business, politics and tourism.
Go to The Philadelphia Citizen to READ MORE!