Spurred on by the recent rash of armed, sometimes-fatal purse snatchings in Philadelphia, Eighth District City Councilwoman Cindy Bass used Thursday’s council meeting as an opportunity to call out the unknown assailants as “gutless cowards.”
“You will pay,” said Bass. “Our police will find you. Our DA will prosecute you. And all lives will forever be changed because of your actions.”
Her comments came two days before a scheduled “Handbags for Peace” rally at 53rd and Market streets near the scene of a fatal purse snatching. The 9 a.m. Saturday event is billed as “women stand in solidarity … with our pocketbooks on our shoulders.”
Here are Bass’ comments in their entirety:
“On any given day, there is no shortage of things to be outraged about. But in light of the recent snow as I was preparing to take the train into town, I wondered if I should carry my pocketbook? In light of the recent shootings around purse snatchings, I thought maybe I shouldn’t, but quickly decided I would.
“I wanted to say something to the ‘men’ that felt that taking something, anything, from another person was acceptable. But since they haven’t turned themselves in, I’ll still speak to them in their absence.
“So, you must feel like a big man, sticking a gun in a girl’s face, which is terrorizing and traumatic in itself.
“But you didn’t stop there, because being the little boy that you are, you pulled the trigger. In three acts around purse snatchings, two women were killed, and one man was shot and injured coming to the aid of his girlfriend. Two men have been apprehended. But the rest of you are still at large, lurking and stalking women, your prey.
“Cowardly is the word that descibes you. What kind of person are you? If you’ve stuck a gun in a woman’s face and pulled the trigger, how many other woman have you terrorized? If you’ve done this, I’m sure you’ve likely put your hands on a woman before.
“Who are you? What are you? Certainly not a man at all. A coward. A weakling. A punk. Gutless. Without a backbone. Less than scum. There are other choice words that could be used to describe you, but I won’t darken this chamber by saying them.
“But again I ask, Who are you? What are you? How could you be a man born of a woman?From where did you come? I have my thoughts on the matter.
“Maybe you were afraid. I guess you thought without a gun, these girls would’ve put it on you and given you the kick in the behind you deserve and then some. You’ll get what you deserve, I’m certain of that. Was it worth it? Worth a life? Likely you got a couple of dollars, maybe a cellphone, maybe some makeup.
“It wasn’t worth it. It never is. And you will pay. Our police will find you. Our DA will prosecute you. And all lives will forever be changed because of YOUR actions.”