Catch & Release: Philly PD Nabs Suspect With 30 Prior Arrests

The city of Philadelphia is currently arguing in court that residents have no Second Amendment right to have their carry permit applications processed in a timely manner. At the same time, however, criminals in the City of Brotherly Love are making it clear that the city’s gun laws are no impediment to them.

On Friday, 45-year old Dean Bloodsworth was arrested and charged with carrying a gun without a license. As it turns out, this isn’t Bloodsworth’s first run in with the law. According to authorities, Bloodsworth has thirty prior arrests and convictions on his record. 

“He fought the officers. The officers had to restrain him,” said Captain Scott Drissel of the 12th police district. “I don’t believe in mass incarceration. I believe in strategic incarceration. I believe in holding people accountable that have shown they don’t, I guess, care about the community’s safety.”

Action News reached out to the DA’s office about Bloodworth’s case.

A spokeswoman told Action News she was looking through his record and so far not finding any sentencing that is out of step with state-mandated guidelines.

“When you have thirty prior arrests, you know I don’t care how old you are. That’s a lot of priors. At what point are people going to be held accountable?,” said Drissel.

Drissel highlighted a huge issue in Philadelphia right now. Even when arrests are made, the court system is so rife with problems that consequences for offenders are few and far between.

“We were third in the city with gun violence last year, so it’s a priority of ours to get out there and make an impact in the community,” said the commanding officer of the 12th district.

In the 18th district, firearm arrests are up 50% year to date compared to last year. And out of 175 gun arrests in 2020, the captain there says only one has been completed in court because the courts are mainly closed due to COVID. The 12th district has a similar problem.

“I understand COVID is a very serious thing, but we have to hold people accountable for their actions. We can’t wait three years to go to court, and that’s what we’re seeing early on here,” said Drissel.

Criminals are waiting three years to go to court, while law-abiding citizens are waiting a year or more just to be able to apply for their concealed carry license. That’s a huge problem, but the city seems unwilling or unable to address the issue. As a result, violent criminals feel (with good reason) that they can operate with impunity in the Philadelphia, knowing that even if they’re arrested they’ll likely be able to get out of jail with little or no bond and be free on the streets for months or years before they see the inside of a courtroom.

Meanwhile, legal gun owners are being forced to wait for months on end before they can lawfully carry a firearm for self-defense, even though homicides, shootings, carjackings, and armed robberies are all on the rise. The city can’t wait three years for criminal defendants to have their day in court, but Philadelphia’s residents shouldn’t have to wait a year or more to exercise their right to bear arms either.

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