DN’s Philly Confidential Gives TODAY I SAW Props


BY DAVID GAMBACORTA I’m sure you’ve all noticed by now that reporters rarely, if ever, witness a crime that we end up writing about. Ninety-nine percent of the time, someone gets shot, our little breaking news pagers go off, and we dash out to the crime scene. But every now and then, someone comes along and tells us what it’s like when you fall into that other one percent.

Super friends, meet Jeff Deeney. Jeff’s a local freelance writer who also doubles a social worker in our troubled town. He details his gritty and sometimes unpleasant encounters in a vivid biweekly column, “Today I saw…” on Phawker. Last week, Jeff saw a twentysomething kid try to murder two other kids in the far reaches of North Philly. […] When I asked Jeff what he thought of witnessing a near shooting, he was honest — but still hopeful.

“I don’t want to give first time readers the impression that this stuff happens to me every day. This was the first time something like this has happened to me. Hopefully it will also be the last, but I am concerned that with the weather warming up and no break yet in the city’s now more than year-long murder spree that dodging bullets on a regular basis might become a part of my job,” he said in an e-mail.

“I want to assure you that I see positivity come in a hundred forms when I go into the field. In North Philadelphia I see a vibrant and eclectic spiritual landscape that brings hope and joy despite tremendous adversity. For every kid slinging on the corner with a gun in his belt I see ten families that are full of love, pulling together to help make ends meet. For every bad block that’s drowning in drugs there’s another with a block captain who keeps things safe, orderly and clean.”


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