Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner is not a stranger to followers of the blog. He’s a “progressive prosecutor,” in the mold of the State’s Attorney a hundred miles south in Baltimore, the recently indicted Marilyn Mosby. A Facebook friend of mine, Matt Rosenberg, author of “What Next Chicago?: Notes of a Pissed Off Native Son,” writes an on-the-ground account of what it’s like, especially for black people, living (for as long as they can) in Larry Krasner’s Philadelphia. I want to pass it along without comment, none being needed.
It’s a startling picture:
Thursday, Ramonita Jusino turned 19. Her family was going to celebrate her birthday after her overnight shift at Walmart ended. She was talking to her abuelita and getting ready to leave for work. Then bullets came flying through the windows of the apartment in North Philly, on West Glenwood Avenue. One hit Ramona. In the heart. Now she’s dead. A relative said, “My whole family, everybody is – it’s hard. You kill a baby. You kill an innocent – she was innocent. Never have no problem. Good student.”
Friday night it was more of the same. In the city’s East Mount Airy neighborhood. A 17-year-old girl sitting in a car with three other people died two hours after being shot in the head and body three times by hitters who pulled up in a black SUV. Police think someone else in the vehicle had been targeted. Collateral damage. How it goes now, right?
In 2021, Philadelphia reached a new annual record for homicides: 562, according to the Philly PD crime dashboard. Previous high: 500 in 1990 at the height of the crack epidemic. So how’s Philly doing halfway into the first month of the new year? Homicides so far in 2022 number 22, 29 percent higher to date than last year. As in Chicago: where it all stops, or tails off, nobody knows.
But be comforted. Because Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner is here to drop some knowledge on y’all.
In December, after 2021 homicides had already exceeded the city’s record, he said, “We don’t have a crisis of lawlessness. We don’t have a crisis of crime. We don’t have a crisis of violence.” Axios reports 80 percent of 2021 murder victims in Philly were Black. To the white DA, those Black Lives Don’t Matter.
Former Mayor of Philadelphia Michael Nutter, a Democrat, who is Black, told CNN’s Michael Smercomish: “I wish some of these woke people would go back to sleep…Larry Krasner has sold the citizens of this city this idea that ‘I’m going to protect you from the police, and that’s all that matters’…” Nutter added, “Do you know what the DA’s nickname is up on State Road…where all of our prison facilities are, his nickname is ‘Let ‘Em Loose Larry.’ That’s a disgrace.”
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