(Not) asked and answered: Milton Street asks Kenney about stop-and-frisk and young homicide victims

 Mayoral candidate Milton Street (left) posed a question of Jim Kenney. (NewsWorks/file art)

Mayoral candidate Milton Street (left) posed a question of Jim Kenney. (NewsWorks/file art)

In the waning days of the mayoral-primary season, NinetyNine reached out to the six Democratic candidates to pose a question about, well, questions.

Specificially, we wanted to hear their response to this query: What question hasn’t been asked of a competitor(s), or of yourself, that you wish had been? (And if it’s the latter, please provide a response).

Next up is Milton Street, who took the opportunity to pose this question of candidate Jim Kenney:

“You’re talking a lot about stop-and-frisk lately even though you never asked about it while on council. Why aren’t you talking about the 2,500 mothers who’ve lost their children to gun violence since 2007?”

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

To which Kenney spokeswoman Lauren Hitt responded that “Jim mentioned [stop-and-frisk] three different times in Council in 2014. We didn’t look back beyond that.”

She cited a June 9 hearing during which Kenney said:

So I just think 4,000 people a year, 83 percent of them African Americans, are the only people being stopped and frisked in this city, and that’s the Administration’s policy. I don’t agree with it, but that’s their policy, and that’s why they’re getting caught. …

So I just think we need to come into the new world and do what — Pennsylvania is not a progressive state in any level, but I think we should be more progressive than the rest of the state, who are not arresting people for this activity. So that’s just my opinion.

And a March 10 hearing:

You can fight, you can argue about the policy of stop and frisk. I have my issues with it, but if you’re likely to be stopped and frisked, you’re more likely to be caught with weed, and I think that that’s really what it’s coming down to, and that’s why I want to see that inequity addressed.

And a Philly Focus article that included the comment:

“Stop-and-frisk is at the root of all of this,” Kenney reveals, in an exclusive interview with Techbook Online following the signing.

“It’s a very unfortunate policy that doesn’t work and it should go away,” he added.

As for the second part of Street’s question, Hitt said, “Jim has talked about gun violence and was part of Council’s effort to pass five new gun-control laws in 2007 that were, regrettably, ultimately invalidated by the state legislature.


Lynne Abraham on women, children and the elderly

Tony Williams on narratives and stereotyped candidates

Nelson Diaz questions Jim Kenney on Morales issue

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal