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Two Defund-The-Police Lawmakers Carjacked In Less Than 24 Hours

Philadelphia, PA – Five people were arrested in Delaware on Wednesday night after U.S. Representative Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pennsylvania) was carjacked in broad daylight at a city park in Philadelphia, just one day after an Illinois lawmaker was carjacked in suburban Chicago.

The carjacking occurred at about 2:45 p.m. on Dec. 22 in the parking lot of Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park in the 1900-block of Pattison Avenue after Scanlon and some other members of Congress toured the historic facility, WPVI reported.

Police said that Scanlon and an aide were walking to her vehicle when two armed men driving a dark-colored SUV stopped them.

The carjackers demanded Scanlon turn over the keys to her 2017 Acura MDX, WPVI reported.

Police said both of the lawmaker’s cell phones and her purse that contained her government identification were in the vehicle when it was taken.

Scanlon represents Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District which includes part of South Philadelphia, NBC News reported.

“I am relieved that Congresswoman Scanlon was not physically injured, and my thoughts are with her during this difficult time,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw told reporters.

Scanlon’s office released a statement after the incident, FOX News reported.

“Wednesday afternoon, at around 2:45 p.m., Congresswoman Scanlon was carjacked at gunpoint in FDR Park following a meeting at that location,” the statement read. “The Congresswoman was physically unharmed. She thanks the Philadelphia Police Department for their swift response, and appreciates the efforts of both the Sergeant at Arms in D.C. and her local police department for coordinating with Philly PD to ensure her continued safety.”

Delaware State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) found Scanlon’s stolen SUV at about 9 p.m. at Christiana Mall in Delaware, WPVI reported.

The vehicle was occupied by five people – four men and one women – when it was recovered in the parking lot in front of Edge Fitness in the 2800-block of Fashion Center Boulevard.

Police took all five suspects into custody for questioning and transported Scanlon’s vehicle to a state police lab, WPVI reported.

No charges have yet been filed but police said the investigation is ongoing.

There has been a massive surge in carjackings in Philadelphia this year, WPVI reported.

As of Dec. 2, there had been 685 carjackings in 2021, as opposed to 410 in all of 2020.

There were only 225 carjackings total in the City of Brotherly Love in 2019, WPVI reported.

Scanlon has not been a supporter of law enforcement in the past, FOX News reported.

She was one of the original co-sponsors of the Mental Health Justice Act that sought to replace law enforcement officers with mental health experts.

The legislation, sponsored by 125 Democrats, is supposed to make it easier for state and local governments to defund the police by instead funding mental health services to respond to emergency calls instead of armed officers, according to The Hill.

Another advocate of defunding the police – Illinois State Senator Kimberley Lightford – and her husband were carjacked at about 9:45 p.m. on Tuesday night in a suburb of Chicago, WLS reported.

Police said Lightford’s black Mercedes Benz SUV was taken at gunpoint on Dec. 21 as she was dropping her hairstylist off at her home.

“She came in the house and she was saying, ‘they’re hijacking the car, hijacking the car,'” witness Cynthia Boyd told WLS.

Three armed carjackers jumped out of a Dodge Durango and surrounded Lightford and her husband in their SUV, according to police.

“They had guns at her!” Boyd said “All three of them had a gun and was pointing guns at her and at her husband.”

Boyd said Lightford’s hairstylist ran inside to call police while the carjackers terrorized the couple in their vehicle.

“She was saying, ‘Don’t shoot my husband, please don’t shoot my husband. Take whatever you want,'” Boyd told WLS. “So they took her purse, and they took the car, and everything that was in the car, and they took off.”

Witnesses reported hearing 10-to-15 gunshots during the incident but police have not said who fired a gun.

“The senator and her husband, Eric McKennie, who were together during the incident were unharmed,” according to police.

Investigators said almost every home on the street has video surveillance and they were working to get copies of footage from those homes, WLS reported.

Lightford is also a vocal advocate of defunding the police who proposed slashing the Chicago Police Department’s budget by $80 million last year.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone

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