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Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney Calls For DA Larry Krasner To Prosecute More Gun Cases As Shootings, Homicides Up 20%

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphia city leaders say we are fighting two public health emergencies. Leaders are pleading with all residents to stay inside and put down the guns as Mayor Jim Kenney calls for the district attorney to prosecute more gun cases.

"It's like 'Law and Order.' Police make arrests and the prosecutors prosecute the case, and that's where we seem to have a problem," Kenney said.

Kenney says Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner is part of the problem when it comes to gun violence. He says the DA's office isn't being tough on criminals who violate gun laws.

"We need more people who are carrying guns on the street illegally and carrying guns with a record to be segregated from the community because that's the reason why our shooting spike has happened and that's why our homicide spike has happened," Kenney said.

A 1-year-old boy is among five victims in a shooting Monday night in North Philadelphia. The shooting happened just before 10 p.m. on the 2300 block of West Harold Street.

Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, Philadelphia police say overall crime is down, but shootings are up 20 percent.

Homicides are also up 20 percent compared to last year. Ninety-five people have been killed already this year in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw says criminals could be deterred if they thought there were tougher consequences.

"There has to be teeth. There needs to be consequences. We can't see a revolving door. If people are released from incarceration, we need to make sure there is strong supervision," Outlaw said. "But at the same time, there has to be teeth, which is the bottom line."

The DA's office fired back at the mayor, saying over the last 11 days they've filed charges in at least 10 violent crime cases and have reviewed 71 cases involving illegal guns.

"The DAO has vigorously prosecuted and has not declined to charge a single individual arrested by police during the COVID-19 emergency for a shooting, homicide, or other violent crime," the DA's office said in a statement.

As for Monday night's shooting, no one has been arrested but all the victims, including the baby boy, are expected to recover.

For a list of gun violence resources in Philadelphia, click here.

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