Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has continued to speak out following his op-ed in last week’s Philadelphia Inquirer in which he harshly criticized District Attorney Larry Krasner’s response to the city’s record-high murder tally.
Nutter has been the most prominent (though far from the only) Philly Democrat to take the DA to task for Krasner’s comments at his December sixth press conference in which 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.”
Nutter called that “some of the worst, most ignorant, and most insulting comments I have ever heard spoken by an elected official.” He characterized Krasner’s stance as containing “a certain audacity of ignorance and white privilege to say that right now.”
Later in the week, Nutter further explained his criticism of Krasner on CNN Tonight with Michael Smerconish. “You know,” he quipped, “I wish some of these woke people would go back to sleep. They’re not being helpful in the conversation.”
“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,’” the ex-mayor explained. In response to a social media post Smerconish read saying that there were causes to crime beyond anything a DA could control, Nutter retorted, “Do you know what the DA’s nickname is up on State Road — you know Philly, that’s where all of our prison facilities are — his nickname is ‘Let ‘Em Loose Larry.’ That’s a disgrace.”
Speaking with Dom Giordano on 1210 WPHT that same day, Nutter elaborated on the relentless toll of murders that spurred him to action.
“You could add the total of 2014 plus the total of 2015 and it would be less than the number of murders in 2021,” Nutter said. “Two years of homicide numbers in one year.”
“You’re the district attorney,” he said. “The job is prosecution and justice.”
Further addressing the “woke” attitude that has pervaded the DA’s office since Krasner’s election, Nutter said that “in general, black people don’t hate the police, they hate police brutality.”
The attempt to shift the blame to outside causes did not sit well with the former mayor.
“This narrative, primarily and in many instances by the DA and by others that somehow it was all pandemic-driven, that’s just not true,” he said, citing the rise in crime that preceded the Covid-19 crisis and continues today.
“When we crossed 500,” Nutter said, “that was the breaking point for me.”
“You could add the total of 2014 plus the total of 2015 and it would be less than the number of murders in 2021,” Nutter said. “Two years of homicide numbers in one year…. You’re the district attorney. The job is prosecution and justice.”
Krasner was elected in 2017 and was boosted by billionaire progressive mega-donor George Soros. He is often referred to as the “most progressive” prosecutor in the nation in media reports.
Some pundits and media outlets like the Wall Street Journal have portrayed Krasner’s success as simply maintaining support of white liberals who are largely unaffected by the crime wave.
“In poor, minority neighborhoods, backlash against Mr. Krasner is building. Philadelphia is a machine-politics city where incumbents generally get an endorsement, but many of the ward leaders who make up Philadelphia’s Democratic City Committee feared that backing Mr. Krasner would turn off voters and hurt their preferred judicial candidates,” the Journal wrote.
Those sentiments, however, came before Krasner won the Democratic primary in May, which put him on a glide path to win re-election last month.
“Ben Waxman, a political consultant in Philadelphia and former communications director for Mr. Krasner, said that along with the black vote, Mr. Krasner had also maintained his support from white progressives,” the New York Times reported.
Meanwhile, Krasner has been on an apology tour since his gaffe, something rarely seen in the headstrong chief prosecutor’s career.
As the Inquirer reported on Monday, Krasner met with City Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, members of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity at Love Zion Baptist Church in North Philadelphia.
“My words unintentionally hurt people,” the embattled DA said. “It was never what I wanted to do. It’s not the work we do everyday. It’s not the work we will do the rest of today. But I know those words were the wrong ones. I chose them. They came out of my mouth. This is on me. I accept responsibility for that, I own that, because I failed in not acknowledging that pain and suffering.”
As the city continues to steadily move past the 500 homicides in a year mark — a record only seen one other time since 1960 — the brazen nature of many of the ongoing crimes have started to grip the city as well.
Video emerged of three suspects robbing two men at gunpoint in Center City to take the victims’ Rolex watches.
During an armed robbery of a Springs Garden pizza shop, a young fourteen-year-old boy related to the store’s owner pulled a handgun from beneath the counter and shot one of the assailants, the Inquirer reported.
The murder of a Temple University student in the middle of the day, and just one day after Thanksgiving, also set off a fresh round of community concern.
“Dear @PHLCouncil members, Silence Is Violence 2023 is approaching,” one city resident tweeted, referring to upcoming council elections. “Ikey Raw will be reminding the voters in Philadelphia of your silence. It’s nothing PERSONAL it’s only POLITICS! Thank you @Joanna4PA for speaking about the insensitive comments made by @DA_LarryKrasner.”