Jim Kenney, the Democratic Mayor from Philadelphia denied claims that the suspected gunman, Edward Archer, had ties to ISIS and instead suggested the real root of the issue is gun control, not radical Islam.
The statement comes after the January 7th shooting of Officer Jesse Hartnett. According to surveillance images, Officer Hartnett was in his vehicle at 11:40PM when the suspect—identified as 30 year-old Muslim Edward Archer—fired 13 shots, three of which hit Hartnett in the arm.
When Archer was taken into custody after being wounded by return fire from Hartnett and apprehended by other officers, the attacker claimed that the attack was carried out because of his allegiance to ISIS and his dedication to Islam. According to authorities during the confession Archer stated that police officers like Hartnett defend laws that go against the Quran and the teachings of Islam.
Ignoring the gunman’s statement, Mayor Kenney rejects that there were religious motives behind the shooting and gun control is the lesson that should be taken away. During the interview Kenney stated that no one at the conference actually believes Islam “had anything to do with” the shooting of Officer Kenney.
Despite the choice to completely ignore the confession of ISIS ties and Islam as the source of Archer’s actions, Kenney offered up an alternative lesson: gun control. Continuing to the media Kenney said, “There are too many guns on the streets”, pleading for an increased amount of gun control by the government.
According to police reports the weapon Archer used to shoot Officer Hartnett with was stolen from the home of a different police officer in 2013 but it is unclear how Archer was able to obtain the stolen gun.
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