2007-06-30

Only in America - Mayor awaits iPhone, leaves line after being asked about murders

Mayor awaits iPhone, leaves line after being asked about murders

The Associated Press, June 29, 2007

PHILADELPHIA: Mayor John F. Street abruptly ended his wait in line for an iPhone Friday after a passer-by asked him about the city's murder rate.

Street, who showed up outside an AT&T store at 3:30 a.m., left shortly after 22-year-old Larry West asked him, "How can you sit here with 200 murders in the city already?"

Street told him: "I'm doing my job."

Street had planned to stay in line for most of the day, waiting for Apple Inc.'s iPhone to go on sale at 6 p.m. When he left at 11:30 a.m., Street said he planned to return to his spot.

West returned later in the day to protest Street's actions — only to find the mayor still had not returned.

"In this climate, at this time in this city, you shouldn't be waiting in line for a phone," West said.

Before the encounter with West, the mayor said he wants the new device because he loves trying out the latest technology. Apple's new handheld would allow him to work some of the day outside the office, he said.

"We don't have to be sitting in City Hall to be conducting city business," he said.

Philadelphia recently had its 200th slaying of the year. Its murder rate is up from last year, the deadliest in nearly a decade.

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Only in America, indeed. I mean, do you expect a Chinese mayor to have to personally queue for a fashionable gadget? You must be joking!