Fed up with senseless violence

A South Philadelphia neighborhood gathered to vent its frustration on continued gun violence.

On Aug. 1, City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson led a Peace-Not-Guns Public Safety walk up the 1800 block of Sigel Street, which was where singer Joelill Foy was fatally shot outside his home a few days earlier.

Foy was a member of the popular former singing group Brotherly Love, which established national fame and notoriously performed for former President Barack Obama. Foy’s older brother Jauan was also a member of the a cappella band that reached the height of its fame in the mid-2010s.

According to police reports, Foy, 26, was sitting on the steps outside his rowhouse on Sigel Street just before 7 p.m. on July 27 when a gunman approached and started firing shots. Foy was shot in the neck. Foy was transported by police to Presbyterian Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 7:20 p.m., police said. 

Foy was a father of two and had a third child on the way. 

Johnson and community members met with Foy’s mother, Tangalee Lewis, who spoke about the pain of losing her son to the senseless gun violence impacting the city. 

During the safety walks, Johnson and other peace activists talked to residents, knocked on doors and handed out literature. They were joined by the Philadelphia Anti-Drug/Anti Violence Network, Philadelphia 1st District Police Commanding Officer Capt. Margo Alleyne-Parker, 1st District Police chaplains, Town Water Integrated Services, Urban League of Philadelphia, Citizens Police Oversight Commission and the city Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Service.

Two days later, Johnson led another rally on the 2000 block of Dickinson Street in Point Breeze.  It was the site where 45-year-old Damon Smith was shot multiple times and killed at the corner of 20th and Dickinson streets on July 30. According to police reports, Smith was shot three times in the torso, once in the back and once in the right leg. He was transported to Presbyterian Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 5:41 p.m., police said.

Anyone with information on any shooting or murder in Philadelphia is asked to call the police at 215-686-TIPS.