New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu listens as Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, where they talked about their campaign to cut the nation’s murder rates, reduce gun violence and address other issues affecting the urban community. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is calling on the U.S. to find new ways to combat street violence because too many “Black men are getting slaughtered.”
The United States needs a solution on the level of the anti-terrorism measures created after the 9/11 attacks, Nutter said Thursday in Washington, D.C., where he was attending a Justice Department conference on youth violence.
“What if our response to domestic terrorism was as thorough and as engaged as our response to international terrorism? What if we had a 9/11 commission about Black men getting slaughtered on the streets of America,” Nutter said, speaking with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landreau at the National Press Club.
Nutter believes the solution is a plan backed by a group of more than 50 mayors called Cities United — a joint effort among government, nonprofits, businesses and concerned citizens. Nutter is the past president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
He and Landreau also urged federal agencies, including the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, to redirect their resources to address the pressing problem. They also asked for more funding for community policing.
Nutter and Landreau have spoken to President Obama about the problem, and said he is “on ready to act.”
“The question is where is the Congress and what are they prepared to do?” Nutter said.
Philadelphia’s homicide rate has dropped from more than 500 deaths a year to about 300, but gun fatalities remain a near-daily event.
Hours after the mayor’s address, a 27-year-old man was shot and killed Thursday night in Philadelphia in the backyard of a home where he was visiting his grandmother. Homicide investigators were also investigating the death of a man shot and killed while riding his bicycle in the city.