Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Police Commissioner Details New Collaboration With D.A.

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw says she doesn't necessarily have to trust District Attorney Larry Krasner, she just wants to "collaborate in good faith with all our law enforcement partners."

So that's why she's embarking on a suspect new collaboration with the D.A.'s office that involves having Krasner's assistant district attorneys assigned on a regular basis to each police district. 

A similar plan was tried years ago under disgraced former D.A. Seth Williams. Critics have pointed out that most murders don't usually happen from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, when ADAs might typically be hanging out at police districts. And that Krasner the cop-hating ideologue may use the ADAs assigned to the districts to spy on cops, so he can gather more information for his "do not call" list as part of his continuing efforts to disqualify as many cops as possible from testifying in court against criminals.  [Can anyone in law enforcement trust Krasner?]

But nevertheless Outlaw, in a series of written responses to questions posed by Big Trial, says she's going to give the new plan of working with our progressive D.A. a shot, and that the data should speak for itself. Good luck with that one, Commissioner!

In her written responses, Outlaw also denied any involvement in imposing a double standard of justice during the George Floyd protests that may serve to embolden lawless behavior in our city. Big Trial was inquiring about 756 protesters arrested by the cops who were just set free by her boss, Mayor Kenney. At a time when individual cops continue to be subjected to demotions and prosecutions for their responses to the protests, whether they were following orders or not.

"I have not imposed a double standard," the police commissioner wrote back. But she did agree that cops at present are dealing with "an emboldened criminal element" that she thinks sociologists will be studying "for years to come."

Well our focus at Big Trial is studying the police commissioner, and her new collaboration with the D.A. I also contacted Krasner, and Jane Roh, his alleged spokesperson, seeking comment, but as they have for the past year, neither the D.A. nor his alleged spokesperson deigned to respond.

Apparently, they view themselves as above questioning. But at least the police commissioner is talking. 

So here are the questions I posed in writing to Commissioner Outlaw, edited for brevity. But the police commissioner's responses are being printed in their entirety.

Big Trial: In a recent Fox TV interview about escalating gun violence, the police commissioner, who has been critical of the D.A.’s handling of gun crimes in the past, talked instead about a new partnership that would bring “everyone to the table” and involve ADAs being assigned to each police district. 


A similar plan was tried under former D.A. Seth Williams. Former ADAs say the program was a waste of time because it often resulted in ADAs hanging around the districts staring at their cell phones. As  you know, most murders happen at night or on the weekends when the ADAs won’t be around. So I have some skepticism about whether this plan will work.

 Since you rightly criticized the D.A. for his lax handling of gun crimes back at a May 31st joint press conference with the mayor, have you seen any signs that the D.A. is changing his permissive policies about prosecuting gun crimes? If not, how can a partnership with the one public official who is most responsible for the wave of gun violence in the city bear any fruit? From a poisoned tree, I might add.

Commissioner Outlaw: "It is not helpful to anyone (community, law enforcement at all levels, etc.) to continue to work in the silos in which those of us within the criminal justice system have been working."

"Having ADAs assigned to each district, and present in our weekly shooting reviews, allows for them to have complete situational awareness around key police prevention and enforcement strategies, cases we present to them for charging, and themes and patterns we are seeing among victims and offenders when it comes to violent crime."

 "We can all do better. What they do with their seats at the table is up to them. The data will speak for itself."

Big Trial: In a recent email to the troops, the commissioner wrote, "I am also no stranger to the feeling of being unsupported by those in positions of leadership." Was this a reference to our current mayor and D.A.?

Commissioner Outlaw: "I was referencing my time in previous assignments. I was not referencing the Mayor or D.A. here in Philadelphia."

Big Trial: I really see no reason to trust Larry Krasner. After three years in office, the evidence abounds about who he is and what his policies are about, as Terri O’Connor has recently testified to. He’s not going to change anything. 


I’m thinking of the work of Patricia Cummings. She's the head of the DA’s conviction integrity unit who conspicuously lacks integrity, as exposed in a prominent series on Showtime, and her continuing endeavors to put more cops on the “do not call” list so they can't testify in court. And her letters to individual cops informing them of voluntary disclosures from their personnel jackets that the D.A.’s office is about to make to defense attorneys. 

Her work continues and her goal is to disqualify or discredit as many cops as she can from testifying against criminals in court. Now every police district will have Krasner’s ADAs hanging around as potential spies, affording them a chance to pick up even more information to be used by Cummings against more cops.


Are you concerned about the possibility that the on-site ADAs might also be used by Krasner and Cummings to gather more information to be used against more cops?

Commissioner Outlaw: "Regarding your question, I did not use the word trust. This is not about trust; this is about our need to collaborate in good faith with all of our law enforcement partners - both appointed and elected. Effective collaboration requires a high-level of professionalism and I have the expectation that everyone will do their part."

"That being said, back in May, I requested the D.A. assign a full-time data analyst assigned to the DA’s office that will analyze individual cases and aggregate data to evaluate and make recommendations regarding quality improvements in the investigation and prosecution of violent and other crimes here in the city (homicides, non-fatal shootings, handgun and robbery charges)."

"With full objectivity, this analyst would attempt to study cases and evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for improvement and challenges in the investigation and prosecution of police and prosecutorial work and would make recommendations to ensure we nip the cycle of violence in the bud as best we can. A response to this request is pending. Hopefully, this fully answers your questions on this matter."

Big Trial: Under the old system, with ADAs not on site at the districts, cops were able to put their arrests and cases proposed for prosecution on paper. Now, with an ADA on site, he or she can simply tell a cop you don’t have enough, you need more evidence, and thus the paperwork for a formal "declination" from the D.A.'s office that may never see the light of day.


In 2018 alone, Krasner's office issued 2,562 such declinations, notifying the police that the D.A.'s office would not prosecute 2,562 cases. With ADAs on site at the districts, the potential exists for ADAs to decline cases orally, tell a cop you don't have enough evidence, and thereby bring down the number of declinations on paper. 


Are you concerned about this possibility of more oral declinations, and less declinations on paper?

Commissioner Outlaw: "I had not considered the implications you mentioned in your second question. Moving forward, our policies will dictate that all charging requests be submitted in writing."

Big Trial: You have previously mentioned in a Fox 29 interview as a factor in the surging crime rate the problem of having to redeploy limited police resources with ongoing protests. Specifically, you said that the police department hasn’t had the resources to be as proactive as it might want to be, because cops have had to be reassigned and redeployed to deal with protests. 

But during the pandemic and protests, the courts have been closed, which, I am told, freed up at least 200 or so cops for reassignment. Also, during the protests, other cops were pulled off details such as narcotics and traffic, so they could assist with the protests. So as a potential factor in the surging crime rate, were we really dealing with a shortage of police resources? 

Commissioner Outlaw: "Deployment of resources does not equate to a shortage of resources. Unfortunately, pulling officers from one assignment to another does not create a one-to-one personnel exchange. Even with the increased personnel available from court closures [which mainly frees up officers on day work tours of duty], the fluid nature of ongoing demonstrations, along with the challenges of deploying during the COVID pandemic have limited our abilities to enact many proactive policing measures."

"As seen with this past weekend, however, we were able to redeploy personnel back to missions focused on proactive, violence reduction strategies. This is due to a lesser frequency of demonstrations; each having smaller numbers of participants."

Big Trial: Lastly, Ben Mannes, a former cop who writes for Big Trial, has opined that the mayor, D.A. and police commissioner have created a double standard in law enforcement, where protesters and others who break the law get a pass, while cops face transfers and/or termination for enforcing the law during protests or for using force to arrest violent criminals. 

In Mannes’ opinion, the double standard has resulted in an emboldened criminal element. Do you have an opinion on that subject?


Commissioner Outlaw: "Lastly, there is no doubt that we are experiencing an emboldened criminal element. There are many sociologists that will be researching this matter for years to come."

"I noticed I was clumped in with others regarding the assertion that there has been a double standard created for law enforcement. I do not speak for anyone other than myself."

"As Commissioner, as I have said in the past, I remain steadfast in that we will hold accountable those persons who commit crimes and acts of lawlessness in our city. I understand how frustrating it can be, that as a law enforcement agency, we do not have full control over what transpires after we risk our safety in taking the steps necessary to enforce the law and hold responsible those individuals who violate it."

"However, irrespective of what ensues afterward, it is my expectation that we continue to uphold our oath, and enforce the law, using the constitutionally-sound tools and strategies that are available to us. I have not imposed a double standard."


  1. DAs in police districts. Its being done already in Chicago. Do I need to say any more about that?

  2. First the fact that she responded is more than the DA has even spoken to any real questions. I did notice two contradictory statements. One she makes a vague comment on the use of constitutionally-sound tools which would include teargas taught at the academy.Two she states that sociologists will study this for years. Any criminology student would know that there are plenty of studies of exactly what is causing todays events. Reading between the lines this was drafted by a non-police public relations writer especially knowing the difference between Portland and Philadelphia. Finally it would be a good test to have the assistant DA's do a ride along and use their vast legal education to handle some mental case calls or soothe a domestic abuse case but then you would be aware you are on your own in making a charge that your boss would throw out.

  3. Ralph,
    Since the establishment of a professional Police Department in Philadelphia there has always been a double standard to conform to zietgeist of political expediency.
    Good article!

  4. You lay down with DOGS u get fleas!!!!WTF?

  5. The big three in Philadelphia. Kenney. Krasner. Outlaw. Can't be. It's like someone is playing a cruel, sick joke on us. Or like the old TV show Candid Camera. This cannot be happening. The three of them, each doing everything they shouldn't be doing. The criminals belong in the prisons, not the police. The big three have it backwards. I'd thought we hit rock bottom with John Street in there, and with Mike Nutter we was on the way back up. Wrong. It's as bad as I've ever seen it, and I'm in my 67th year of life. Heaven help us.

    1. yes, indeed. Likewise, I am in my 67th year and this administration is the worst ever........Katastrophic Kenney

  6. AfTer reading this Post and the Questions and Dull and For The Most Part, Meaningless and Insipid PC Platitudes offered in response to the EMails Posted; were there any questions posed about the Policies this Outlaw followed and sanctioned while in her Last Post as Police Commissioner of Portland Oregon??

    Does she have a meaningful selection of thoughts and answers that address the Law Enforcement Policies of Mayor Wheeler in Portland that inspired the Lawlessness and Attacks on Police and Public and Private Property and should the Support for Insurrection be a Path moving forward by Kenney and Krasner as they Lead in the same Direction>>

    As for the ADAs posted at Police Districts, it is my guess they are the Same Incompetents still on the Payroll who can't Pass the State Bar Exam and Unqualified for the Positions that they hold.

  7. I would rather see an on camera interview versus a written response. 1st, the disadvantage to written responses are that we have "no idea" who actually wrote the written answers. 2nd, with a recorded camera interview everyone has the advantage to watch facial expressions, eye movement & other body language indicators. Just saying.

    1. So would I. But that's not what the police commissioner, who has to report to her bosses in the Kenney administration, is offering. So you take what you can get.

  8. This is more of the same double standard. The Commissioner is full of crap. The criminal will get off and the cops that enforce the law will get screwed. People dont always comply with the police. Its liberal people like her that makes it very hard for law enforcement.

  9. Now that the Federal Government has designated Philadelphia a " City of Interest" and will send a surge of Federal Law Enforcement Personnel to remove rioters and anarchists during Acts of Insurrection supported by the Mayor/ Police Commissioner/ and D.A., it would be enlightening if you could pose questions and elicit an Intelligent Response from U.S. Attorney McSwain.

    At what point does the Federal Government charge and arrest Local Officials for their Acts of Treason and failed Government Authority??


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