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22 Dec, 2021 22:18

US congresswoman carjacked at gunpoint

US congresswoman carjacked at gunpoint

A Democrat member of the US Congress was carjacked and robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight in South Philadelphia. Representative Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pennsylvania) was not physically harmed, but her car and possessions were taken.

Scanlon was walking to a parking lot on Pattison Avenue on Wednesday afternoon, around 2:45pm local time, when she was approached by two armed men who demanded her car keys and personal effects. They took her personal and government-issued cell phones, and drove away in Scanlon’s 2017 Acura, spokesperson Lauren Cox told reporters.

“She’s physically OK, but her vehicle and possessions are gone,” Cox told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The congresswoman, first elected in 2018, was meeting with constituents at nearby FDR Park, over the proposed development plan. The robbery took place just down the road from the Wells Fargo Center, where the Democrats held their 2016 presidential convention.

Chief Inspector Frank Vanore of the Philadelphia Police Department said the two suspects were last seen driving the car toward the southbound I-95 interstate highway. The FBI is assisting the Philadelphia PD with the investigation.

Mayor Jim Kenney, a fellow Democrat, said in a statement he was “appalled to learn of this violent crime that was perpetrated against my friend and congresswoman.”

“Everyone deserves to feel safe in our city, and sadly, as we know, that hasn’t always been the case this year. It’s disheartening, and quite frankly infuriating, that criminals feel emboldened to commit such a reckless crime in the middle of the day in what should be a place of tranquility and peace – one of Philadelphia’s beautiful parks,” Kenney added.

The attack on Scanlon comes amid a surge in violent crime in the city of some 1.5 million residents, where the 13 American colonies declared their independence from Britain in 1776. Philadelphia had recorded 521 homicides in 2021 earlier this month, shattering its previous record set in 1990. 

Philadelphia elected Larry Krasner, a civil rights activist backed by Democrat mega-donor George Soros, as district attorney in 2017. Since then, Krasner has worked to abolish cash bail and prosecuted a record number of police officers for alleged misconduct, while “dramatically” reducing prosecution for “minor” crimes such as retail theft and prostitution.

Scanlon has campaigned with other congressional Democrats to “dismantle systems of hate, hold law enforcement officers accountable, and push for the adoption – and use – of unbiased policing practices,” according to her official website