AP Photo/Matt Rourke
On today’s show, Philadelphia talk show host Rich Zeoli tore into the city’s District Attorney Larry Krasner, calling out his soft-on-crime and attacks on police. He’s not the only one.
U.S. Attorney William McSwain, who oversees federal prosecutions in Philadelphia, absolutely roasted Krasner in a statement released on Thursday. Accusing the DA of fostering a “culture of disrespect” for law enforcement, McSwain noted that Krasner has compared the police officers who are his partners in enforcing the law “Nazis.”
We’ve now endured over a year and a half of the worst kinds of slander against law enforcement – the DA routinely calls police and prosecutors corrupt and racist, even ‘war criminals’ that he compares to Nazis,” he wrote.
McSwain’s comments come after a gunman shot and wounded six Philadelphia police officers on Wednesday when they tried to serve a warrant. The suspect eventually surrendered to authorities after an hours-long standoff.
Krasner, who was elected district attorney in 2017, has made national headlines for his progressive criminal justice policies. In June 2018, Krasner reportedly requested a list of police officers who had lied on duty, racially profiled or violated civil rights, in an attempt to help prosecutors avoid relying on police officers with credibility issues as witnesses.
Krasner has also instructed prosecutors to offer shorter sentences in plea deals, decline certain classes of criminal charges and to stop seeking cash bail for certain misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies.
Larry Krasner is the poster child for prosecutors not fully enforcing the laws on the books, and if crime was going down, he might be getting praised for showing restraint. Instead, crime is soaring in Philadelphia, and more and more people are getting fed up with Krasner’s policy decisions.
The D.A. may be starting to get the message. At an afternoon press conference, Krasner admitted that the suspect in yesterday’s shootout and standoff was an example of the failures of the criminal justice system.
ut even Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, in a press conference earlier Thursday afternoon, said that someone like the suspected gunman “should not have been on the streets.”
“I think it’s fair to say that the criminal justice system, as imperfect as it is, did not stop this individual,” Krasner said.
“What a lot of us do in law enforcement is risk management, and there will be, like it or not, occasions where there are bad results.”
Krasner also tried to pitch his policies as “smart on crime,” not “soft on crime.”
He said his office wants to spend less time prosecuting people for relatively minor crimes like marijuana possession, so it can reallocate resources toward cases like Wednesday’s shooting.
“We’re trying to get there,” he said. “We were trying to get there long before this incident happened.”
If he’s serious about getting there, he’s going to need to work with the local police department, not call them Nazis. A dysfunctional relationship between police and prosecutors is only going to hinder the kind of cooperation needed to target the most violent offenders in Philadelphia and either remove them from society or get them to change their ways. As U.S. Attorney McSwain pointed out, Krasner’s attacks on police are hurting, not helping the cause of justice.