At a press conference early last week, District Attorney Larry Krasner responded to a spate of shootings over the July 4th weekend that claimed the lives of four Philadelphians across the city, including the nephew of a State Senator.

“You want change? You better vote! The bottom line is we’re not getting any change out of this state legislature until you have a Democratic majority. You’re not getting it!”

“I’m surprised they don’t spend all day trying to make every gun legal, cause that is how they [Republicans] think about this!” 

Krasner’s office has overseen a striking decline in gun prosecutions, even as violent crime and gun arrests spike, as noted by the Philadelphia Inquirer, which reported in March that under Krasner, while gun crime arrests have been soaring, conviction rates have dropped significantly. Similarly, under Krasner’s leadership, homicides in Philadelphia have increased by 58 percent

He went on to blame the National Rifle Association (NRA) for the shooting as well.

“Some corrupt politicians supported by the NRA, with their pockets lined by the NRA! Those are the people who just keep endangering lives in Philadelphia and the rest of the commonwealth and those are the people doing it all over the United States.” 

Republicans have held nearly complete control of the Pennsylvania state legislature for the last thirty years, during which crime in Philadelphia has mostly fallen. Under Krasner, homicides in Philadelphia have soared; at this time in 2018, the first year Krasner held office, there were 163 murders in the city. This year, there have been 294 — an increase of 80%. 

Krasner’s office has repeatedly opted to pursue lighter sentences even against perpetrators of violent crimes. In several high profile instances, such as the killing of Milan Loncar in Brewerytown in January and the murder of seven year old Zamar Jones in Cobbs Creek, people with serious pending charges have allegedly gone on to kill.

Broad + Liberty recently reported that a man convicted of murdering two people, who was exonerated by the Krasner office, was rearrested in May and charged with possession of a firearm without a license, carrying firearms in public in Philadelphia, aggravated assault, and simple assault.

This had led some critics to assert that Krasner’s unwillingness to prosecute crimes, not the state’s existing gun laws, are to blame for the recent spike in crime. The city’s top cop, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, pointed in March to a “revolving door” at the city’s D.A.’s office during an interview with the Inquirer: “If there’s nothing to deter folks, if there’s no consequence… there’s no incentive to not carry a gun illegally, quite frankly.”

Salahaldin Mahmoud, nephew of Pennsylvania State Senator Sharif Street, was among those killed over the weekend of July 4th. Senator Street also called for new gun control legislation at the federal and state level. 

Last month, during a wide-ranging interview with Politico, Krasner did acknowledge a limited need for law enforcement: “we do need some cops, and we do need some jails and we do need prisons. We just need a whole hell of a lot less of each of those things.”

And in May, city Democrats, including a vast majority of primary voters in high-crime neighborhoods, opted for the incumbent D.A. after a spirited challenge from former homicide prosecutor Carlos Vega.

Larry Krasner’s office did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.

Joe Silverstein is the summer Editorial Intern at Broad + Liberty. He is a rising senior at Cornell University, where he studies Government and International Relations. Silverstein serves as the current Editor in Chief of the Cornell Review.

5 thoughts on “Philly D.A. Larry Krasner blames Pennsylvania Republicans for city’s spike in violent crime”

  1. First Krasner blamed the pandemic now he’s blaming the Republican majority and the NRA. Fact is the homicide rate and the number of shooting have been inching up since the Kenney Administration and have been increasinig even more since Krasner became district attorney. He stated the NRA is lining the pockets of Republican legislators. I wonder, who is lining his pockets?

  2. As long as Philly voters keep pulling the “D” ticket without regard for job performance, this problem will continue to exist. I’m 59 years old and there has never been a mayor, council or administration in this city other than “D” in my lifetime! One party rule leads to corruption and ever increasing socialist policies. The hand picked police commissioner calls Krasner’s policies a revolving door for criminals. Pretty soon, we’ll be seeing stores closing early like in CA because of un-prosecuted looting and shop lifting. People don’t feel safe after dark in any part of the city.

    Glad I moved out 10 years ago. Looking to move further away right now since 25 miles is too close. I won’t take a job in Philadelphia because of the CWT or visit and spend one dime of my money in Philadelphia until we get an administration that stands up for the citizens.

    If you want to stop gun crime, arrest and detain, no bail or prosecutorial “deals” for illegal gun possession and mandatory 5 year sentencing. More jails bring more construction jobs and makes room for the violators. Please god, bring us another Ed Rendell and Jonathan Saidel!

    1. Sure Larry, it’s always the same excuse. ” We need more gun control “, guns are evil, guns are the problem “. But, as always, these nit wits never, never have the courage or the sense to target the cause of the problem, the criminals. They always direct their ire and vitriol at the law abiding citizens. Not surprising from Larry and his ilk. Their policies continue to excuse and coddle the criminals and the death toll due to their incompetence grows. Not unlike every other lib controlled city. It’s amazing how despite the stiffest gun control laws they continue to lead the country in rates of homicide and wallow at the bottom of the list of convictions. One could be excused for thinking that ,that is the plan. Larry, like the rest of them is an incompetent book.
      Libs are fascist terrorists in word, deed, and belief. This is another example.

  3. In other news, Republicans blame Democrats for literally everything under the sun. Even a stubbed toe.

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