Saturday, August 5, 2023

Calling Out Larry Krasner


In case you missed it, I've just publicly called out Larry Krasner.

                                                   The story can be read HERE.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Big Trial's Moving To Substack

By Ralph Cipriano

Effective today, Big Trial's moving to

Why? Since Big Trial lost its sponsor seven years ago, I've been doing this blog pro bono.

And every year, not only has the workload steadily increased, but in my opinion, so has the need for this type of reporting.

Using the courts as a base of operations,  Big Trial provides an independent voice in the local media by doing some essential muckraking, asking the tough questions, and always insisting on holding public officials accountable.

It's become indispensable journalism, I would argue, in a city that for the past two years has been setting historic records for shootings, murders and carjackings.  City Council members who are still afraid to meet in public -- they only meet on Zoom -- openly admit that Philadelphia has descended into a state of lawlessness. And become a place where every day, armed and violent criminals brazenly go about their business, with no fear of consequences.

Against this desperate backdrop, our only daily newspaper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, where I once worked, continues to function as the official house organ of the Democratic Party that's controlled City Hall for the past 70 years, while shilling for the "progressive" leaders who have run Philadelphia into the ground.

At Big Trial, we do things differently. We aren't PC, we don't suffer fools gladly, and we don't believe in sacred cows.

What does the move to Substack mean for readers? Instead of getting Big Trial for free, now you'll have to pay $5 a month, which at Subbstack, is their lowest subscription rate. I hate having to ask people for money, but in a city that's in crisis, it's the cost to preserve independent journalism.

So consider this my invitation to readers to follow me over to Substack, where we'll continue to shine a bright light on the dark place that Philadelphia has become. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Clown Show: Judge Tosses D.A.'s Faulty Murder Case Against Cop

Photo credit: Tony Spading
By Ralph Cipriano

The clown show that is the Philadelphia District Attorney's office was fully exposed this afternoon in the courtroom of Common Pleas Court Judge Barbara McDermott.

At the end of a more than two-hour hearing, McDermott ruled that the D.A.'s Aug. 23, 2018 grand jury indictment of former police officer Ryan Pownall for murder was riddled with so many legal errors that she was quashing the grand jury's report, known as a presentment because it was "no good" and it's "conclusions cannot be relied on."

What was so wrong with the grand jury presentment that indicted Pownall for murder in the racially-charged 2017 shooting death of dirt biker David Jones?

Well for starters, the grand jury was run by former Assistant District Attorney Tracy Tripp, who, depending upon your viewpoint, was either [a] totally incompetent or [b] corrupt, or [c], the correct answer, both totally incompetent and corrupt.  

In the Pownall case, Krasner, who had just taken office in January 2018, was looking for the first cop he could publicly hang for murder. And that happened to be Ryan Pownall, who fatally shot Jones, who was armed and on the run, while attempting to escape arrest.

For Krasner, the scheming arsonist, it was a perfect case to make headlines because Pownall was white and Jones was black. But the problem was that Krasner's office is so lame and inept that Krasner relied on Tripp to do the job. And operating behind the closed doors of the grand jury, the rookie prosecutor completely botched the hit.

Friday, October 7, 2022

P.C. Outlaw Relied On Fabricated Account To Fire Chief Inspector

By Ralph Cipriano

According to an arbitrator's report, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw relied on a "fabricated account of a violent assault" in 2020 when she unjustly fired Chief Inspector Anthony Boyle.

In a 13-page analysis and decision, arbitrator Walt DeTreux ruled that Outlaw's big mistake was to buy into Captain LaVerne Vann's fabricated story that in an argument over whether a prisoner should be charged, that Boyle had "forcibly grabbed Capt. Vann with both hands and was bending her arm behind her back." On top of that, Outlaw had charged Boyle with being "derelict in his duty."

But according to the arbitrator's report, it was all a lie.

When Outlaw's firing of Boyle went to arbitration during four hearings in January, March and May of this year, the city "failed to prove any of those charges," DeTreux wrote. In relying on Vann's fabricated story of abuse, DeTreaux wrote, Outlaw chose to ignore "the fairly consistent and credible accounts of other participants and eyewitnesses that indicated Chief Boyle was trying to separate the prisoner from Capt. Vann's interlocking arm hold and rough treatment."

The arbitrator's decision to reinstate Boyle was announced in July, but the contents of the arbitrator's 13-page report have not been disclosed until now. 

In firing Boyle, the arbitrator wrote, Outlaw and other city officials also chose to disregard "Capt. Vann's repeated insubordination in refusing to release" the prisoner she and Boyle were arguing over. 

Outlaw and other city officials, the arbitrator found, also dismissed testimony that during the confrontation between Boyle and Vann, that Boyle was responding to Vann's "defiance of his direct orders." And that Vann responded by "yanking" the prisoner away and "bending her forward until she cried out in pain."

When the city fired Boyle, he was cited for going "hands on," the arbitrator wrote. This made no sense because of the city's "own directive that requires an officer to stop another officer engaged in the use of inappropriate or excessive force," the arbitrator wrote in clearing Boyle of all the charges. 

Thursday, October 6, 2022

A Shower Of Lies: Spanier, Sandusky And The Mess At Penn State

Editor's Note: Frederick Crews, essayist, literary critic and English professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkley, reviews In the Lions' DenThe Penn State Scandal and a Rush to Judgment by Graham Spanier. More than a decade later, the Penn State cover up is still going strong. Because the media can't admit they blew the story, this article was rejected for publication by six different magazines.

By Frederick Crews

You remember Jerry Sandusky, right? 

He’s the former Penn State assistant football coach and pedophilic monster who started a foundation, The Second Mile, in order to gain sexual access to prepubescent boys, hundreds of whom he molested, until eight heroic ones stepped forward to tell a jury about their ordeals in 2012, resulting in the sixty-eight-year-old Sandusky’s thirty-to-sixty-year prison term.

If you recall anything else about the case, it is probably the wrenching story of the ten-year-old “little boy in the shower,” who, on February 9, 2001, was seen being raped by Sandusky in a Penn State athletic facility. For some reason the witness, a hulking former quarterback named Mike McQueary, didn’t intervene, but on the next morning he did go straight to the legendary football coach Joe Paterno and tell him about the sodomy. 

Paterno conferred with the university’s athletic director, Tim Curley, who then involved a vice president, Gary Schultz, and the president, Graham Spanier. Instead of reporting the crime to the police, however, the three officials conspired to cover it up, thus sparing scandal to their all-important football program. As for the rape victim, he couldn’t appear in person at Sandusky’s trial, because nobody knew who he was.

But there’s a problem with what you remember. It’s sheer folklore. True, Sandusky took a shower with a boy. That’s what he often did, quite openly, after a workout together, and the showers typically included innocent horseplay. That behavior had been commonplace in the recreation center where Sandusky was raised. 

As for the incident in question, Mike McQueary initially misremembered its date by more than a year, and then probably misdated it again; he wasn’t at all sure he had glimpsed a sex act, and that’s why he had done nothing to stop it; he evidently didn’t mention it to Paterno until weeks later, and then only in passing; and his subsequent inaction and cordiality toward Sandusky indicated that he had reconsidered his initial concern.

Monday, October 3, 2022

D.A. Went Soft On Alleged Serial Carjacker & Alleged Serial Killer

Krasner prepares to bolt his own press conference
By Ralph Cipriano

On Sept. 19th, a mother who was about to drive her daughter to school at 6:15 a.m. in Northeast Philadelphia was confronted by a carjacker who pointed a black handgun at both of their heads. 

Ten days later, U.S. Attorney Jacqueline Romero announced that her office had arrested Amir Harvey, 20, of the Olney section of the city, and charged him with the carjacking of the mother and daughter that took place in the 8900 block of Maxwell Place.

It turns out that Harvey has a rap sheet that included seven arrests in the past five years. He's a suspect in at least four carjackings, including one case where he previously pointed a gun in the faces of a mother and her children. He's also been arrested for allegedly firing four shots at police and then barricading himself, rather than surrender.

And remarkably, with all those arrests, thanks to the D.A.'s office, Harvey has had a smooth voyage through the criminal justice system here in Philadelphia. He's been released on his own recognizance three times. He's had his bail cut in half so it would only cost him $10,000 to get out of jail.

When he previously pulled a gun on the mother and her children, he was released without having to go to jail. On two occasions when he entered a negotiated guilty plea to stealing cars, he got no jail time and was sentenced only to probation. And when he went on trial for stealing a car, he got off.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Amateur Hour At The Krasner Impeachment Hearings

By Ralph Cipriano

The curtain is about to go up on day two of the Larry Krasner impeachment hearings.

And already it's a total failure.

Sifting through the testimony of the half-dozen witnesses who appeared at yesterday's hearing, one thing is clear -- not one of them laid a glove on Krasner.

Of the five relatives of crime victims who testified, only one of whom was a live witness, not one gave any evidence of any malfeasance by Krasner. Or even any evidence of any direct interaction with him, where they could have at least complained that Larry was mean to them.

The relatives of crime victims who testified, four of whom appeared on video, complained more about the cops than they did about Krasner. The testimonies were unfocused and rambling. The fact that these were video presentations that could have been edited for clarity proves that whomever was responsible for putting those videos together had no idea what they were doing.

A similar criticism could be leveled at the members of the house select committee who have presided over this disaster. If they think they're going to impeach Krasner with the weak sauce they've served up to date, they're as delusional as he is. 

Memo to D.A. Krasner -- take a day off, bud. And don't spend any more of your political allies' money on paying demonstrators to show up down here in the Navy Yard to stage "spontaneous" protests while dressed up like circus animals. 

Because thanks to the ineptitude of your political opponents, you've got nothing to worry about.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Live Blogging At The Larry Krasner Impeachment Hearings

By Ralph Cipriano

We're here live at the Larry Krasner impeachment hearings.

And who do you think is supposedly planning to show up as a surprise guest?

You guessed it, the camera-hogging D.A. himself. 

Krasner supposedly has scheduled a rally across the street from the Penn State building on 12th Street where the impeachment hearings will be held today and tomorrow, beginning at 10 a.m. today.

According to the cops, Krasner has asked for, and will receive, police protection when he takes the bullhorn and presumably starts rallying the troops against MAGA Republicans, Donald Trump, and the state Legislature, etc., all of whom are surely out to get him.

Krasner's usual plan is to blame everybody but himself for the historic gun violence in Philadelphia that's already topped 400 murders this year, plus more than 1,400 shootings and more than 1,000 carjackings.