Lawncrest Recreation Center hosts peace rally

  • City Councilwoman Marian Tasco speaks about community strength.

  • Eric Hardaway (left) and Carlton Williams, both with state Rep. Dwight Evans’ office, attend a Lawncrest peace rally on June 5.

  • Kids at the playground watch the rally.

  • Capt. Frank Palumbo takes the microphone from Sanya Brown of PhillyRising, to give a short speech about the people of Lawncrest fighting crime. MARIA POUCHNIKOVA / TIMES PHOTOS

Capt. Frank Palumbo looked at the kids play­ing bas­ket­ball at the Lawn­crest Re­cre­ation Cen­ter. 

“This is how it should be,” he said — kids play­ing ball, adults en­joy­ing a beau­ti­ful spring even­ing.

The 2nd Po­lice Dis­trict’s com­mand­er was at the rec cen­ter to par­ti­cip­ate in a June 5 peace rally. About 50 pub­lic of­fi­cials, civic lead­ers and neigh­bor­hood res­id­ents turned out for the gath­er­ing last week along with a line of po­lice of­ficers to sup­port ef­forts to im­prove Lawn­crest.

The rally, sponsored by Phil­lyR­ising and po­lice, also was a re­ac­tion to the vi­ol­ence that has shot through the neigh­bor­hood this year.

There have been sev­er­al murders in the neigh­bor­hood in 2014. A moth­er and her son, Donna Muller, 49, and Richard Muller, 22, were shot in their home on the 300 block of Stevens Street on Jan. 19. Wil­low Grove res­id­ent Linden Henry, 32, was shot fatally as he sat in a car parked on the 5700 block of Wey­mouth Street. Three men were shot and killed on Feb. 13 in a twin house on the 5700 block of Mar­tins Mill Road.

As traffic nois­ily passed by the Rising Sun Av­en­ue crowd, City Coun­cil­wo­man Mari­an Tasco thanked Palumbo for bat­tling area crime, but ad­ded that “we need people to be more in­volved” to re­build the com­munity. “We need block cap­tains,” she said.

With of­ficers lined up be­hind him, Palumbo said, “This is a great neigh­bor­hood … kids are play­ing … they shouldn’t be afraid of dodging a bul­let.” ••

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