Diary

This is What "Social Justice" Law Enforcement Gets Us

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Philadelphia Police Department Current Crime Statistics page, which is only updated on weekdays, tells us that, as of 11:59 PM EDT on Sunday, October 25th, there have been 399 homicides in the City of Brotherly Love. That’s a 40.99% increase over the same date in 2019, and 2019 saw the most homicides in Philly since 2007. That’s 399 homicides on the 299th day of the year. We had previously noted that The Philadelphia Inquirer took no notice of murders in the black community, and at least as of 11:05 AM, the Inquirer’s website main page showed no articles noting the bloody weekend in the city.

Maybe the editors are waiting to break the 400 killings mark?

Doing the math, 399 homicides in 299 days equals 1.334 per day, up from 1.324 just ten days ago. As the weather cools down, homicide rates normally drop somewhat, but not in Philadelphia. With 67 days remaining in 2020, 89 more homicides would be expected if the current rate continues, for a total of 488, just shy of the second place number of 489 in 1989. I suppose that breaking the record of 505 in 1990 is out of reach by now, but with District Attorney Larry Krasner giving petty criminals slaps on the wrist — if even that much — the thugs are out on the street, able to escalate to bigger crimes, who knows, maybe they can break the record.

Mr Krasner’s Twitter page has his self-declared bio: “District Attorney Larry Krasner fights for equal justice for the great people of Philadelphia. A fair and effective criminal justice system makes us safer.” With city homicides increasing every year that he has been in office — 353 in 2018, up from 315 the previous year, then 356 in 2019, not a terribly big jump, and now 399 so far in 2020, with slightly over two months left to go — how, I have to ask, has the “effective criminal justice system” under the District Attorney made the city “safer”?

I’ve harped about Mr Krasner’s idiocy often enough that it doesn’t bear repeating. So, this time, I’ll quote from his Wikipedia biography:

Lawrence Samuel Krasner (born March 30, 1961) is an American lawyer serving as the 26th District Attorney of Philadelphia.[1] Elected to the position in 2017, Krasner campaigned on a platform to reform elements of the criminal justice system, including to reduce incarceration, and took office in January 2018.

During his tenure, Krasner has sought to spearhead criminal justice reform by ending bail payments for low-level offenders, reducing supervision for parolees, and seeking more lenient sentences for certain crimes.[2] Prior to his government service, Krasner had a 30-year career as a criminal defense and civil rights attorney and public defender. He aggressively pursued police misconduct.[3] . . .

Krasner’s representation of Black Lives Matter and Occupy Philadelphia members led many to call him an “anti-establishment” candidate during his 2017 primary campaign for the Democratic nomination.[10][11] He campaigned against existing policies that had resulted in disproportionately high numbers of minority males being jailed and proposed other reforms in criminal justice.[12] Krasner was a featured speaker at the 2017 People’s Summit.[13].  .  .  .

Shortly before the candidacy announcement, John McNesby, president of Lodge 5 of the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police, derided Krasner’s eventually successful run as “hilarious.” McNesby opposed Krasner’s promise to refuse to prosecute defendants whose detainments were illegally performed so arresting officers could earn overtime pay as well as his history of suing police officers who perpetrated corruption and brutality.[16] Krasner received no major newspaper endorsements.[1] Less than three weeks before the primary, a political action committee supporting Krasner’s campaign received a $1.45 million contribution from billionaire George Soros.[17].  .  .  .

In his first week in office, Krasner fired 31 prosecutors from the District Attorney’s Office, including both junior and career supervisory staff. Up to one-third of the homicide prosecutors in the office were dismissed. Those fired represented nearly a 10% reduction in the number of Philadelphia assistant district attorneys.[25][26]

In February 2018, Krasner announced that law enforcement would no longer pursue criminal charges against those caught with marijuana possession.[27] That same month, Krasner instructed prosecutors to stop seeking cash bail for those accused of some misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies.[28] Krasner said that it was unfair to keep people in detention simply because they could not afford bail.[28] He also announced that the DA’s office had filed a lawsuit against a number of pharmaceutical companies for their role in the city’s opioid epidemic.[27] Krasner instructed prosecutors to stop charging sex workers who had fewer than three convictions.[29]

In March 2018, it was reported that Krasner’s staffers were working on creating a sentence review unit–the first of its kind in the country–to review past cases and sentences, and seek re-sentencing in cases when individuals were given unduly harsh punishments.[30] That same month, Krasner instructed prosecutors to reduce sentence lengths to defendants making pleas, refuse to bring certain low-level charges, and publicly explain their reasoning for pursuing expensive incarcerations to taxpayers footing the bills.[31] He said,

“Fiscal responsibility is a justice issue, and it is an urgent justice issue. A dollar spent on incarceration should be worth it. Otherwise, that dollar may be better spent on addiction treatment, on public education, on policing and on other types of activity that make us all safer.”[32]

In 2018, some judges rejected the reduced sentences which Krasner’s prosecutors had sought for juveniles who had previously been sentenced to life in prison.[33] In June 2018, Krasner made an unprecedented request for a comprehensive list of police officers who had lied while on duty, used excessive force, racially profiled, or violated civil rights, an unprecedented move in order to spotlight dishonest police officers and check their future courtroom testimony.[34]

In 2019, Krasner filed a motion in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to declare capital punishment in Pennsylvania unconstitutional. He claimed the death penalty was illegal in the state because of the ban on cruel and unusual punishment in the Pennsylvania Constitution, citing the high turnover rates of convictions by appeals, the racially biased number of sentences given to black and Hispanic defendants, and the large number of convictions overturned due to ineffective counsel.[35]

Following the fatal shooting of Philadelphia police officer James O’Connor IV, Krasner faced criticism from William McSwain, a federal prosecutor appointed by Donald Trump.[36] McSwain, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, blamed the shooting on a prosecutorial discretion decision by Krasner’s office to drop drug charges against suspected killer Hassan Elliott. While on probation for a gun possession charge, Elliott was arrested again on January 29, 2019, for cocaine possession and was released on his own recognizance. Nearly a week later on February 6, Elliott took part in the fatal shooting of Tyrone Tyree. Krasner’s office dropped drug charges after Elliott failed to appear in court, choosing to approve an arrest warrant for Tyree’s murder instead.[36] On March 13, as part of a SWAT unit carrying out an arrest warrant, O’Connor was fatally shot and Elliott was charged. Prosecutor spokeswoman Jane Roh responded to criticism by stating that the office believed murder to be a more serious crime than drug possession and charged Elliott accordingly.[37] On the night of O’Connor’s death, John McNesby ordered activist police to form a human chain at Temple University Hospital entrance to prevent Krasner from entering.[37]

In July 2020, Krasner’s office charged Philadelphia SWAT officer Richard P. Nicoletti with simple assault, reckless endangerment, official oppression, and possession of an instrument of crime. Video footage taken during the George Floyd protests showed that Nicoletti pepper sprayed three kneeling protesters. He pulled down the mask of one woman before spraying her in the face, he sprayed another woman at point blank range, and sprayed a man numerous times in the face while he laid on the ground.[38]

Simply put, Mr Krasner, who hated the police from the beginning, installed a form of ‘social justice’ law enforcement; he was tougher on the police than he was on criminals. He was oh-so-concerned that “disproportionately high numbers of minority males” were charged, convicted and incarcerated, without ever thinking to consider that perhaps, just perhaps, “disproportionately high numbers of minority males” were the ones committing crimes.

There are two kinds of crimes: crimes of evidence and crimes of reporting. If a man rapes a woman on the streets of Philadelphia, as far as the police are concerned, if it wasn’t reported, it didn’t happen. It is commonly assumed that most rapes go unreported, with some guesstimates being as high as 90% not reported. Crimes like robbery might go unreported if the victims do not trust the police or think it will do any good, or are fearful of revenge by the criminals. When your city is stuck with a District Attorney like Mr Krasner, who doesn’t believe in prosecuting criminals, or sentencing them harshly when they are prosecuted and convicted, what reason is there to report that you were robbed?

But murder is different: it is a crime of evidence. It isn’t easy to dispose of a dead body in a way that it won’t be found, especially if you haven’t carefully planned things. You’re looking at 100 to 300 pounds of dead meat, bone and fat, and something which will put off a strong and nasty odor after very little time. The vast majority of dead bodies get found.

Of course, in Philadelphia, a whole lot of murders are open and in public: drive up or drive by shootings, essentially public executions, in which the shooters are only concerned with escape, not hiding the fact that someone was killed.

So when I read that most crime had decreased in Philadelphia, I just flat don’t believe it. Murder isn’t normally an entry-level crime; guys who shoot other people have usually been bad guys before that. And if they’ve been bad guys before that, Mr Krasner doesn’t really believe in getting them locked up for long anyway.

So, when we note that 77.86% of fatal shootings in the city since 2015 were of black males and another 5.01% of black females, (as of October 22, 2020), and know that 88.5% of black homicide victims were killed by black assailants, it becomes pretty obvious that, at least when it comes to murder in Murder City, USA, the killings are by a “disproportionately high numbers of minority males.”

But the esteemed Mr Krasner appears to want to have none of that! He’s more concerned with not having racial disparate numbers of minority members convicted as criminals than he is of helping to make the city safer.

This is what happens when “social justice” is one of your driving motivations. The police and the prosecutors need to just find, apprehend, try and convict offenders regardless of racial considerations.  When you don’t do that, you wind up with, well, with Philadelphia.
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