Thursday, January 30, 2020

'We've Got To Get Rid Of Larry Krasner'

By Ralph Cipriano
BigTrial.net

It was George Bochetto, the attorney for the widow of slain police officer Danny Faulkner, who delivered the rallying cry of the night.

"We've got to get rid of Larry Krasner," Bochetto told a crowd of more than 500 people Wednesday who packed an anti-crime rally in the gymnasium at St. Monica's Church in South Philadelphia. As the chief law enforcement officer in Philadelphia, Bochetto said, Krasner is "a traitor to his cause" because he cares more about the rights of criminals, rather than the rights of the citizens he's sworn to protect. And as for the police, Bochetto said, the men and women in blue who are supposed to be Krasner's allies in law enforcement, "They're under attack by Krasner's office."

Speaker after speaker paraded to the microphone last night to describe the brazen state of lawlessness in South Philly under Krasner. Drugs are sold openly on the streets; prostitutes, pimps and burglars are free to ply their trades. Thieves wheel suitcases around the neighborhood filled with packages they steal from doorsteps. When the cops arrest criminals, "Let 'em Loose Larry" gives burglars and murderers a free pass out of jail, so they can rob and murder again. People are getting mugged left and right. Parents and grandparents fear for the safety of their children; grown men [and women] are afraid to venture outside their homes.

"I'm getting a gun," one large man told the crowd. "I'm 6-foot-5, 220, and I'm afraid to walk the streets." Another man predicted, "When we walk home tonight, probably ten of us will get mugged."

Bochetto the Philadelphia lawyer, gave the crowd a lesson about how justice works, Krasner style.

When Krasner took office, he claimed he found six boxes of newly discovered evidence in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the convicted killer of Police Officer Faulkner.

Did Krasner do anything to verify whether the evidence was newly discovered in a case that's 40 years old? Nope.

Did he call the former assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case, and ask about whether the evidence was really new, which it wasn't? Nope. Did he talk to the detective who carried the old evidence into the D.A.'s office decades ago for safe storage? Nope.

Instead, Krasner the left-wing ideologue went off half-cocked and called Mumia's lawyers, and told them about his big bogus discovery. They filed an appeal for a new trial, based on the D.A.'s false claim of newly discovered evidence. And when Mumia's lawyers went to court to get Mumia a new trial, Krasner didn't argue; instead he told the judge he was in favor of the appeal.

So Bochetto had to go to the state Supreme Court, and file a motion on behalf of Faulkner's widow to try and get Krasner disqualified as prosecutor in the case, because of a conflict of interest. As a radical defense lawyer decades ago, Krasner worked for a legal collective organized by a left-wing group that Mumia was and still is an active board member of.

So when it came to the most notorious cop murder in the city's history, whose side is Larry Krasner on? Why the cop killer's, and not the murder victim's widow, who had to hire a private lawyer to represent her interests.

Another Philadelphia lawyer, Pasquale E. Bianculli, stood up and told the crowd about the murder of his grandson by a youthful gang of gun-packing killers. And how the convicted killer's accomplices who disposed of the murder weapon got away with only probation. And how, when the gang came back brandishing guns to intimidate, threaten and bully his daughter and son-in-law, the parents of the murder victim, who was Krasner's office prosecuting?

Why his daughter and son-in-law, for fighting back against the gun-packing hoodlums that murdered their son.

How bad are things in South Philly? A former high-ranking city official told me that last week, he got so tired of the drug dealers operating openly in front of his house that he warned the drug dealers if they came back the next day, he'd come out on the front porch with his gun and blow out their car windows.

"I don't give a fuck anymore," he said.

That's how bad things are.

Last night's rally was noticeable for who showed, and who didn't.

City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, who earlier in the day, was hit with a federal indictment for bribery, showed. "I'm here to most importantly listen," he said.

Krasner, of course, couldn't make it. Neither could Mayor Jim Kenney, Krasner's fellow progressive. Kenney, born and raised in South Philly, could fly to New Hampshire to campaign for Liz Warren. But he didn't have the time to listen to the fears and pleas for help from more than 500 of his rattled  neighbors at St. Monica's.

"It's a goddamn disgrace that the mayor's not here," one man yelled. "Impeach Krasner," yelled another.

Another no-show -- The Philadelphia Inquirer, which shunned a citizens rally that might have cast a disparaging light on two of the newspaper's progressive heroes, Krasner and Kenny.

In the gym at St. Monica's, the outrage was at high voltage.

"We are under siege," one man yelled. "My son was murdered two doors from my house. My life is ruined."

While Krasner didn't show, he did send Anthony Voci, his hapless chief of homicide, out to dispense some pablum in hopes of quelling the uprising.

"I remain sorry for your losses," Voci told the father of one murder victim. "There's not a lot of easy answers to the issues that were raised tonight," he opined.

Then Voci lapsed into a speech filled with platitudes about how hard he and his fellow employees at the D.A.'s office were working night and day, allegedly on behalf of the citizens of Philadelphia.

They are working hard night and day down at the D.A.'s office all right, but it's not on behalf of the citizens, it's on behalf of the criminals. Month after month, the D.A.'s office formally declines to prosecute arrests made by the cops on hundreds, if not thousands of cases ranging from murder on down.

And on the cases that they do prosecute, the D.A.'s office is often plea-bargaining the charges down to lesser offenses. Or when they do go to court, they either dismiss the charges, or worse, if a case goes to trial, they're so inept they lose.

Some time during Voci's stream of platitudes there came a moment when I felt compelled to put down my notebook and pick up the microphone. To take a crack at something I'm frankly terrible at, public speaking.

A little background here. It's amateur hour down at the D.A.'s office. As soon as he got into office, Krasner fired 30 veteran employees, mostly senior prosecutors. Another ten veteran employees left of their own volition. The result: as a team, the D.A.'s office resembles the Washington Generals, who used to go out and lose to the Harlem Globetrotters every night.

Krasner was so starved for help that he had to hire the biggest class ever of 60 new prosecutors. Naturally, as a left-wing ideologue, he had to make sure his new hires were suitably diverse, and committed to social justice. Minorities were well represented; half of the new hires were women, and two percent were "non-binary," meaning they didn't identify themselves as exclusively masculine or feminine.

All great so far. So what happened next? Eighteen of the 60 rookies promptly flunked the bar exam.

It was Voci and another rookie prosecutor, who just joined the office a year earlier, who lost the Rittenhouse stabbing case last October.

In case you missed it, it was Michael White, in full view of witnesses, one of whom filmed it on a cellphone, who plunged a knife with a six-inch blade into the back of Sean Schellenger, an unarmed man.

 The victim, a 37-year-old real estate developer, fell to the ground and bled to death while the killer, the 22 year-old White, took off on foot, and during his escape, threw the knife on top of a roof.

That's when D.A. Krasner swung into action, marshaling all of his energies, not to come to the aid of the family of the crime victim and see that justice was done, but to make sure that Michael White beat the rap.

First, Krasner dropped a first-degree murder charge to third-degree murder. Then, on the eve of trial, he dropped the third-degree murder charge down to voluntary manslaughter. Next, Voci and the rookie prosecutor finished off the job by losing the case. As a result, Michael White walked. He only got probation for tampering with evidence, because he tossed the knife.

White's ability to skate after brazenly killing an unarmed man in cold blood on a summer night in crowded Rittenhouse Square, in front of a bunch of witnesses, was no accident. Instead, it was "totally orchestrated from the beginning" by Krasner, Schellenger's mother, Linda, told me.

Here's another lesson in how justice works in Philadelphia under Krasner, especially in a high-profile murder case.

When he decided on the eve of trial to drop the third-degree murder charge, Krasner didn't have time to meet with the mother of the murder victim.

Instead, he picked up the phone on the eve of trial and told Linda Schellenger that he was dropping the third degree murder charge down to voluntary manslaughter.

When the mother of the murder victim had the temerity to protest, and suggest that Krasner should leave that decision up to the jury, what did the D.A. do?

"He literally yelled at me on the phone," Linda Schellenger said, because "I was questioning his authority and his intellect."

Remember, folks, on the other end of the phone was Krasner, the career defense lawyer, who had never prosecuted a traffic stop.

In contrast to how he treated the mother of a murder victim, Krasner had plenty of time to support the accused murderer. It was Krasner who convened a two-hour pretrial "proffer" session where he personally sat down with the accused killer and his team of public defenders.

Two detectives and the assistant district attorney who worked the case were there, but weren't allowed to speak. Only Krasner and Voci, his top assistant, were allowed to question Michael White.

And what did Krasner and Voci do? Why they coddled White, they rehearsed him, and they coached him up so he could beat the rap.

This was another travesty of justice. A proffer session is typically held to get a criminal to confess to other crimes, and finger criminal accomplices whose identities so far are unknown to the cops.

But in the Rittenhouse murder case, Michael White acted alone, in front of a bunch of witnesses, one of whom filmed the murder. What, I asked Voci last night was the purpose of meeting behind closed doors with Michael White for two hours?

In response, Voci the hack lapsed into another stump speech.

"We got Mr. White's version of what happened," Voci said. He talked theoretically about how a proffer session is a valuable age-old tool of law enforcement, where prosecutors get to hear from the accused, all the details from their point of view of an alleged crime. And if the accused changes those details later in court on the witness stand, Voci warned, why the prosecutors can call the accused out on that.

It was a nice speech, except in this case when the prosecutors behind closed doors asked White what was going through his head when he pulled the knife with the six-inch blade out of his knapsack, and got ready to murder Sean Schellenger, White gave a speech about Emmett Till.

Who was Till? A 14-year-old black boy who was lynched in Mississippi way back in 1955 for allegedly flirting with a white woman.

It was a speech that had men in the room rolling their eyes. All except for Krasner, the criminal-loving, left-wing ideologue, who drank it all in uncritically, like he was hearing the Sermon on the Mount.

And when White went to trial, and didn't give that canned Emmett Till speech, did flunkies like Voci call him on it?

Nope. Did they call White on anything else? Nope. Did they use White's Facebook incriminating postings before and after the murder as evidence against White?

Nope.

It was the hapless Voci who told Linda Schellenger he disagreed with his boss's call to drop the murder charge, but then he dutifully went out and blindly followed his boss's orders.

After Voci lost, a senior administrator in the D.A.'s office admitted to one of the veteran prosecutors that Krasner had fired, You would have won the case.

The ghost of Sean Schellenger, however, was in the room last night. Women in the back of the gym held up full-size posters of the murder victim, under the heading, "Justice for Sean. All Lives Matter." And "Arrest Krasner for obstruction of justice."

Yes, Larry Krasner, in addition to Michael White, has blood on his hands for the murder of Sean Schellenger. And so does Voci, a man without testicles, who sat by and said nothing publicly while he watched his boss, a radical left-wing ideologue, orchestrate a slam-dunk of a murder case so that the prosecution would lose and White would walk.

Justice in Philadelphia, Krasner style. In the gymnasium at St. Monica's, people openly pleaded for the U.S. Attorney, who couldn't make the meeting, to show up in Philadelphia and save the citizens. By putting Krasner in jail.

Just like the feds did with Philadelphia's last D.A., Rufus Seth Williams, now doing five years for political corruption.

For the beleaguered citizens of Philadelphia, it's the only way out.

7 comments

  1. If you investigate the decline in property values in Girard Estates and the surge of New Listings of Homes, the Exodus of Residents is in stark contrast to the development of Point Breeze and adjoining Districts where New Construction is gentrifying the former Ghettos.

    The Real Crisis in Law Enforcement, inspired by the Coronavirus, is a week away, when Kenney's Comrade in Arms Commissioner Outlaw brings the New Rule of Law.

    That is when the Neighbors of St. Monica's Parish will take the Law and shove it where the Sun doesn't shine.

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  2. Let em Go Larry needs to Go! Set the impeachment in Motion! Let's go! ALL IN!

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  3. Larry Monopoly would consist of all get out of Jail free cards! No ride on the Reading! No Advance to Go! No Beaty Pagent winners! Just release the Armed Robbers and thugs!

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  4. So how do we get rid of them? I voted against them. The polls were empty in the northeast. There wasn't even an annoying ad about the mayoral election. But every comment I see on my social media page is how much they are hated. Post how to start the ball rolling.Post it on social media.

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  5. Ralph, Good piece. I was at the meeting, unlike our mayor or DA.

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  6. Thanks Paul, sorry I missed you at the meeting.

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  7. This is freaking unbelievable and scary. I used to live in Philly and follow this debacle from afar. If the voters don't vote this guy out after seeing the wreckage, then their is no hope......

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