North Philadelphia: Can the Next Crimes be Prevented?

Nov. 28 marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Temple University student Samuel Collington.

After parking his car on the 2200 block of North Park Avenue, Collington was shot in a carjacking by a 17-year-old. Collington died from his injuries within the hour.

The student reporters of Philadelphia Neighborhoods wanted to revisit the incident that sparked conversations on and off-campus and led to increased universitywide safety measures. We spent the semester learning more about Park Avenue and the neighborhood it’s located in, Hartranft.

More specifically, we wanted to answer the question,

“What are the conditions that led a 17-year-old to take someone else’s life?”

The stories:

Text, image and video by Brooke Beyer, Haajrah Gilani and Natalie Kerr.

  • As the city’s violence epidemic continues, Hartranft residents have their own opinions and experiences regarding the violence in their community. To learn about how they view their neighborhood with love, concern and potential for a better future, read here.
  • While a high percentage of Philadelphia’s carjackers are younger, many of them don’t consider the effects their actions will have on their future. Moreover, many of them don’t see themselves as having a future. As the discussion to curb this crime trend continues, read about the culture surrounding the crime here.
  • Hospitals traditionally serve a reactive role in communities, responding to incidents that have already occurred. But with gun violence increasing both city and nationwide, more health care organizations are incorporating gun violence prevention efforts to keep people from entering the trauma unit. Read more here.
  • The majority of gun incidents in Philadelphia affect young, Black men. But this demographic is often ignored, underserved and mistreated, leaving them without critical support and vulnerable to violence. Read here about problems youth are facing and local organizations’ efforts to amplify their voices and help them find meaning.
  • Temple University has vowed to help stem the epidemic of violence in North Philadelphia. Meanwhile, local organizations on the ground work to solve the problem themselves, laying the foundation for a holistic approach to combating crime. To learn more about how Temple can contribute to and sustain this work, read here.

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