Police increase reward in NoLibs murder
The Philadelphia police union on Monday announced a temporary doubling of its reward money in last month’s purse-snatch murder in Northern Liberties.
During a news conference at FOP Lodge 5, union president John McNesby called the $20,000 reward “pretty much a bounty on the three people that did this.” Anyone wishing to collect the cash must provide information leading to the arrest of the killers by no later than 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16. After that, the FOP reward reverts back to $10,000.
The slaying occurred on Jan. 19 at about 10:30 p.m. at 915 N. Front St. Amber Long, 26, and her mother, Stephanie, were walking on the sidewalk when two men approached them and grabbed their purses. One of the robbers pulled a gun from his pants and shot her fatally in the chest. Both crooks fled into a waiting car occupied by at least one other man.
“Talking to the homicide detectives, talking to those who looked at the (surveillance) video, it was probably the worst thing they’d seen in their careers, a coward act,” McNesby said.
According to McNesby, the police union administers a reward fund supported by city business contributors. The reward is separate from the City of Philadelphia’s $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any murderer. Meanwhile, the Citizens Crime Commission has posted a $7,000 reward in the Front Street case.
Video of the crime is accessible via the Philadelphia Police channel on YouTube.com. Call 215-686-TIPS or text to PPDTIP to report information.
“Anybody that knows anything, we’re asking you to call, no matter if you think it means anything, whether you think it doesn’t mean anything, call,” McNesby said. ••
Taylor announces bid for re-election
State Representative John Taylor recently announced he is seeking another term in the state legislature.
Taylor serves the 177th district, which includes Port Richmond, Bridesburg, Frankford, Northwood, Tacony and Mayfair.
“My job is to help people and that’s why I love doing it,” Taylor said in a press release. “It was never about helping a Democrat or a Republican. It was always about helping a neighbor - helping a local family in need, or helping the city of Philadelphia as a whole.”
Taylor’s main concerns include creating jobs, fighting blight, keeping taxes low and improving education, according to the statement. Taylor has helped to enact Act 135, Pennsylvania’s Abandoned and Blighted Property Conservatorship Act, which creates a court-appointed conservator to rehabilitate blighted properties for reuse and resale.
“These new laws are vital tools in our arsenal to fight blight and keep our neighborhoods safe and stable,” Taylor said in a statement. “I will continue to make fighting crime and blight, and improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods a key priority.” ••
Medical cannabis bill advances in state senate
The Senate Law and Justice Committee recently held a hearing for a bipartisan bill proposing to legalize medical cannabis.
Senate Bill 1182, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act, legalizes the use of medical cannabis by patients as recommended by attending physicians.
This bill is the first of its kind that has received bipartisan support. To date, there are 11 cosponsors on the bill. One of them is local senator Mike Stack.
Almost 20 individuals and organizations testified at the hearing, voicing their support for the proposed bill, according to a statement from Sen. Daylin Leach. Supporters included the Pennsylvania Nurses Association, researchers and families of children who would benefit from the bill.
The Senate Law and Justice Committee will continue to accept testimony, chairman Sen. Chuck McIlhinney said in a statement. The bill will be considered in the coming weeks. ••