We All Fall Down
Over the last few days, much has been made of crane operator Sean Benschop turning himself in, to be charged with six counts of involuntary manslaughter, 13 counts of recklessly endangering another person, and one count of risking a catastrophe. Though it will be up to a jury to decide on his exact responsibility in the matter, Benschop is clearly being scapegoated in the absence of charges being pressed against Griffin Campbell, who contracted Benschop in the first place, and especially Richard Basciano, who, with the late Sam Rappaport, has set the bar for slumlords in this town over the last 30 years. To be clear: Benschop may or may not have been the culprit whose actions or lack of awareness directly led to a supporting beam finally coming down and leading to death, injury and chaos. But he would have hardly acted alone.
Sweeney also rakes our current mayor, past mayor/former governor, and city council over the coals, and deservedly so. While Benschop has a LOT to answer for, none of this would have happened if we had a functioning L&I, an actual anti-blight policy, and a culture of tolerance for slumlords in Philadelphia.
The mayor had the gall to say ““Justice will only be served if Sean Benschop receives a sentence that buries him in a jailhouse forever, just like his victims were buried on Wednesday.”
Really? So it’s ALL his fault and no one else’s?