Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Mayor Kenney's Million-Dollar Security Detail Protects Him From Angry Protesters At Pig Roast

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Whenever he hears about Philadelphians who live in fear of  flying bullets, Mayor Jim Kenney always assures us that he feels their pain.

“We know residents are afraid, afraid to attend cookouts or go to basketball courts, afraid to let their kids play outside," the empathetic mayor said last week as the city surpassed Chicago for having the highest per-capita murder rate in the nation.

But although the dead and wounded bodies here in Philadelphia are piling up in record numbers, it's comforting to know we have a mayor who cares. 

"I heard it on my corridor tours, I hear it at community meetings, I read your emails. I hear you and it truly breaks my heart," Kenney said about the fear residents have expressed regarding out-of-control gun violence.

But when it comes to his personal safety, the mayor doesn't have much to worry about, or for that matter, the personal safety of his fiancee. That's because Kenney and his gal pal are guarded 24/7 by a security detail of at least eight armed Philadelphia police officers. They drive four unmarked black SUVs often parked around City Hall behind green saw horses marked with the initials MPD, for Mayor's Police Detail. 

It's a security detail that according to a couple of knowledgable sources, costs taxpayers more than $1 million a year. In Democratic-controlled cities across the country such as Chicago, Baltimore, and San Francisco, they may be screaming about defunding the police. But taxpayers trapped in these urban utopias are simultaneously shelling out millions to fund private security details to protect progressive mayors like Kenney. 

Last night, the mayor's security detail was on the job at three different locations. The city even had to call in reinforcements because of an unruly protest outside the mayor's home last night that injured two cops. 

Friday, July 23, 2021

Shooter At Pat's Steaks Tells Cops, 'I Was Getting My Ass Kicked'

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

When the suspect turned himself in after shooting a man to death outside Pat's King of Steaks early yesterday morning, the cops asked him what happened.

"I was getting my ass kicked in a fight but I don't know what happened and I shot the guy," Paul Burkert, 36, of Reading told the cops.

When the cops asked about the whereabouts of the white Nissan van that Burkert had attempted to escape in before turning himself in, Burkert replied, "I said all I'm gonna say and I'm done talking." 

The D.A.'s office charged Burkert with murder, reckless endangerment, obstruction, tampering with evidence, conspiracy, possession of an instrument of crime, plus two gun charges -- firearms not to be carried without a license, and carrying firearms on public streets or property.

It was a high-profile murder that involved two big Philadelphia tourist attractions. The fight that preceded the murder took place while the suspect was standing in line outside the popular South Philly cheesesteak palace ordering two pizza steaks. After he shot David Padro, 23, of 2700 block of Federal Street in Camden, Burkert fled in a van, before turning himself in to park rangers at Sixth and Chestnut, near Independence Hall.

As of today, the city's homicide total is at 314, up 35% from 232 murders on this same date a year ago when the city racked up a near-record 499 murders, one shy of the all-time homicide record set back in 1990 at 500. 

At this rate, the city will set an all-time record this year with 673 murders. Meanwhile, CBS Philly was reporting that Philadelphia has pulled past Chicago and now has the distinction of having the highest per capita murder rate among the country's ten largest cities. 

Now there's an accomplishment that District Attorney Larry Krasner, Mayor Jim Kenney and Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw can all be proud of as they continue to pander to the public about the gun violence and bloodshed that they are clearly powerless to stop. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

As City Hits 300+ Murders, Krasner Chokes Up, Fakes Tears & Lies

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

A drive-by shooter on Saturday night sprayed the storefront of a West Philly deli with bullets. Inside, a couple of customers whipped out guns and returned the fire.

Meanwhile, a mother trapped inside the store started screaming when the one-year-old baby girl she was holding in her arms was hit in the leg with a stray bullet.

This is how bad things are right now in Philadelphia. On Monday, the deli owner told  6ABC he was still haunted by those screams. "That night I couldn't even sleep because my mind was still hearing that voice, that crying of that mom," Majid Choudary said.

The child was expected to recover. But it was another violent weekend in Philadelphia, with nearly 40 reported shootings and three murders, as our civic leaders remained completely clueless about how to stop the bloodshed.

How bad is the current epidemic of gun violence in Philadelphia? The Inquirer reported that in July alone, an average of 10 people a day were being shot. So far this year, the city has racked up 1,264 shootings, a record pace.

And how bad is the murder rate? On July 16th, the city set an all-time record when the body count hit 300 murders at the fastest rate in the city's history. In the past 33 years, only a half-dozen times has the city hit 300 murders as early as August. 

Such as last year on Aug. 29th, when the body count hit 300 on the way to a near-record 499 murders. The all-time record for murders was set in 1990, at the height of the crack cocaine epidemic. The city hit 300 murders on Aug. 3, 1990, on the way to racking up a record 500 murders that year.

But in the history of the city, Philadelphia has never hit 300 murders in July. Until now. At this current pace, with 304 murders to date, the city will set an all time record this year with 663 murders. 

And while the bullets were flying, what was the district attorney of Philadelphia up to? The city official most responsible for the local gun violence epidemic was choking up, and faking tears at a press conference while lying through his teeth.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Clown Show: Krasner Claims He's Not Responsible For Crime Surge

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

In court, District Attorney Larry Krasner is staging a clown show by claiming that he's not responsible for a record upsurge in gun violence and murders.

Krasner also claims that a March 30th Philadelphia Inquirer story that cited crime stats to report the obvious -- that police were making gun arrests at a record rate, but that convictions under the corrupt and incompetent regime of D.A. Krasner had taken a tumble -- was "inaccurate in several respects."

Krasner made his laughable claims on July 6th in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court when he and his lawyers filed 47 pages of denials in a formal response to allegations made in the case of Carlos Vega Esq. vs. Shaun King, Real Justice PAC and Lawrence Krasner for DA. 

Vega, who lost to Krasner in the May 17th Democratic primary for D.A., subsequently sued the D.A. and his political bedfellows Shaun King, the Real Justice PAC, and Krasner's campaign committee, for repeatedly libeling him on the campaign trail. In the lawsuit, Vega's lawyers have also charged the D.A. and his political cronies with conspiracy, money laundering and political payoffs.

Regarding the record upsurge in gun violence and murder, the D.A. has blamed nearly everything under the sun, but has never once looked in the mirror. Instead of acknowledging the obvious, that his progressive polices are fueling the upsurge in violent crime, Krasner has blamed judges for tossing more cases; cops for not digging up enough evidence; and witnesses for not showing up in court to testify against armed and dangerous defendants. 

Casting a wider net, Krasner has also blamed the upsurge in gun violence on vast societal forces, such as the pandemic, poverty, bad schools, drugs, a lack of jobs, as well as systemic racism. But it was a surprise in court to see Krasner turn on his loyal apologists at The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

The Real 'Vince of Darkness'

Paul Davis of Philadelphia Weekly just wrote a column abut Target: The Senator, my 2017 book about former state Senator Vince Fumo, AKA "The Vince of Darkness."

I wrote the book to tell the full cat-and-mouse story behind the Fumo case. This was after The Philadelphia Inquirer had for years published a completely one-sided view of the federal investigation, indictment and trial of Fumo for political corruption, coverage that basically amounted to a cartoon version of reality.

While the Inquirer's relentlessly pro-prosecution anti-Fumo reporters subsisted on selective leaks from the feds, I was able to gain access to all 7,000 pages of the government's files in the case -- court transcripts, FBI interviews and grand jury transcripts.

Those files told a fascinating story about a colorful guy that the feds had been chasing since the 1970s, a politician considerably brighter and more able than the dim bulbs we now have running the city and state.

Although the feds had investigated Fumo for decades, they were never able to catch him committing a crime that they were looking for, such as bribery or kickbacks. Then, a brilliant prosecutor named Bob Zauzmer figured out a way to turn failure into success by cobbling together an all-encompassing 137-count indictment that basically sought to criminalize politics as usual. So that's how the feds, by bending a few of their own rules, and with the full force of the Inquirer behind them, were finally able to nail their man.

Here's a link to the PW story. 


Saturday, July 10, 2021

A Reporter's Rogues Gallery Featuring Tony, Rufus & Larry K.

Dear readers. I've recently updated my website at ralphcipriano.com. It's a reporter's rogues gallery that features some pretty disreputable characters.

The leadoff hitter is none other than His Eminence, the late Cardinal Tony Bevilacqua, who was the leader of a criminal enterprise formerly known as the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. 

While the cardinal's pedophile priests were out molesting and raping innocent children, His Eminence, as he insisted on being called, ran a systematic cover-up that kept his priests out of jail and the church out of the media spotlight, and the courts. 

Brian Tierney, the future publisher of the Inquirer who would bankrupt that newspaper, makes a guest appearance on my website as Cardinal Tony's loyal and devious spinmeister. 

There are plenty of other targets to lampoon. I pay tribute to Rufus Seth Williams, our former corrupt D.A., who, before he went to jail, ran a sex abuse crusade against the Catholic Church. What a great idea. Except that Williams picked as his star witness a lying, scheming altar boy dubbed Billy Doe, who turned out to be a complete fraud. 

But I don't just pick on Philadelphia's corrupt officials. On my website, I've outed all the bad actors in the Commonwealth who completely botched both the civil and criminal investigations at Penn State. It's a toxic waste dump of a case that the Pennsylvania judiciary and the state attorney general's office and the media are still actively engaged in covering up, because they all have their own shameful malpractice to hide.

But the brightest star of my personal rogue's gallery is our current corrupt D.A., Progressive Larry Krasner. On my website I honor Philadelphia's "reform" D.A. with his very own web page. It's a place where I've gathered more than 50 Big Trial scoops documenting Krasner's failures, incompetence and downright malfeasance in office. 

So please feel free to take a look. 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Krasner Strikes Again: D.A. Previously Dropped A Dozen Charges Against Man Held For Manslaughter In Death Of 10-Year-Old Niece

by Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net
 
When the D.A.'s office charged Tyree Miles with involuntary manslaughter  after his 10-year-old niece shot herself to death with her uncle's gun, Larry Krasner gave a speech about how Miles had to be held accountable for the girl's death.

Climbing up on his soapbox, Krasner used the tragic death of a child as an opportunity to lecture the rest of us about who's responsible in this country for gun violence. 

The D.A. proceeded to attack "greedy gun manufacturers, the NRA’s cultish following, and the craven politicians they fund and support." He also called on state and federal officials to enact new laws to further regulate guns.

But here's what the grandstanding D.A. failed to do. Larry Krasner never held himself accountable, or his incompetent prosecutors, or the lax policies in his office that are responsible for not enforcing all of the gun laws currently on the books. Larry Krasner never accepted any culpability for the tragic death of 10-year-old Shanyiah Gaines Miles.

Court records, however, show that over a 21-month period that preceded Miles's arrest for involuntary manslaughter after his niece killed herself with his gun, the 28-year-old Miles was arrested three times after he allegedly attacked his girlfriend, then the cops, and finally, his mother, brother, and other relatives. Miles also had a history of carrying illegal guns.

And how did Larry Krasner's D.A.'s office handle Miles on three different occasions over that 21-month period when they were prosecuting him in court? 

Why on three different occasions the D.A.'s office voluntarily decided to dismiss a total of a dozen charges against Miles, including three counts of simple assault, three counts of reckless endangerment, two counts of possession of an instrument of crime, one count of terroristic threats, one count of possession of a prohibited firearm, and one count of carrying firearms in public. 

Monday, July 5, 2021

At PHA-Owned Crack House, Cops Find Two Bullet-Riddled Bodies

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Is the Philadelphia Housing Authority allowing one of its abandoned properties in West Philadelphia to operate as a crack house; a place where two weeks ago, the cops found two bullet-riddled bodies inside?

Police and neighbors say yes, but the mayor's office says no. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for PHA isn't talking.

On June 24th at 3:33 a.m., police officers in the 16th District responded to a radio call for a "person with a gun" and found two bullet-riddled bodies inside 4951 Hoopes Street. 

Tiyaine Kent, a 28 year-old black female, was found lying face up in the living room. She had suffered gunshot wounds to the head, abdomen and back. Eight minutes later, a fire department medic at the scene pronounced her dead.

The other victim, Kent Blake, a 34 year-old black male, suffered a gunshot wound in the chest. Medics transported Blake to Penn-Presbyterian Medical Center, where he was admitted in critical condition. Less than two hours later, at 5:22 a.m., he was pronounced dead.

The boarded-up, two-story brick row house on Hoopes Street is owned by PHA. It looks like an abandoned property, but three "residents" of that crack house told police that "they were placed there under an agreement from the homeless encampment from the summer of 2020."

Ever wonder what happened to those homeless "protesters" who formerly resided on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway? The cops say a trio of them have been holed up in a row house on Hoopes Street for months now, where they are sharing the space with a bunch of local drug addicts. The upshot is every day on Hoopes Street, it's party time.