It’s true that Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer and Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner were both supported by George Soros during their first elections to their current offices. It’s also true that Stollsteimer and Krasner both campaigned as candidates offering “progressive” criminal justice reforms as the prospective top law enforcement officials in their respective counties. But since Krasner’s 2017 election and Stollsteimer’s 2019 victory over a Republican incumbent, daylight has emerged between the men. Stollsteimer has clearly made choices that distinguish him from his often incendiary peer.
An example occurred this Friday.
The district attorneys of Philadelphia’s four collar counties arranged simultaneous commemorations at courthouses in each county to memorialize the sixth anniversary of the tragic slaying of Philadelphia Police Sgt. Robert Wilson III.
Wilson, as anyone in the Philadelphia area at that time will remember, unwittingly interrupted an armed robbery in progress when he entered a GameStop store to buy a video game for his son. He drew fire away from other customers, saving their lives and sacrificing his own.
Seldom does the word “hero” feel so insufficient.
Yet, while Stollsteimer commendably participated in his county’s commemoration — something that should not be seen as controversial whatsoever — for Krasner, commemorating officer Wilson’s slaying was not a priority.
Unlike Stollsteimer, Krasner has made himself so hostile to police that he knows he is unwelcome at such events. It’s why Friday’s memorials for a fallen Philadelphia cop were conducted by other DA offices, when the Philadelphia DA should have been front-and-center.
Conservative hardliners may ignore Stollsteimer’s correct choice — he is, after all, a Soros-funded DA, which are three words that provoke significant skepticism on the Right. But to ignore Stollsteimer’s decency would only incentivize him to become more like Krasner, not less. When politicians don’t get the public benefit of their actions over time, it becomes easier for them to decide to radicalize further — after all, what’s the payoff for choosing the more moderate lane if it’s not recognized, and rewarded?
These pages have serious policy disagreements with progressives on law enforcement issues, namely a devastating blind-spot when it comes to the existence of victims. We are not overlooking those disagreements, and not asking you to do so either.
But Stollsteimer does not appear to be deliberately engendering enmity between himself and law enforcement in his jurisdiction — including both officers and the prosecutors he is supposed to lead — as Krasner does. And despite beliefs on law enforcement that may be misguided to some, Stollsteimer is still willing to honor fallen police, unlike Krasner. These distinctions deserve recognition.
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Correction: A previous version of this editorial stated that Sgt. Wilson was off duty at the GameStop incident. He was on-duty. We regret the error.