Monday, August 17, 2020

Krasner Stonewalls His Role As Fact Witness In Cop-Shooting Case

By Ralph Cipriano

It's been more than a year since District Attorney Larry Krasner foolishly interjected himself into a live hostage situation involving a gunman who had already shot six cops.

For more than a year, Krasner has repeatedly declined on three different occasions to explain his actions on Aug. 14, 2019 to the Philadelphia police, who were investigating the shootings. It was during a standoff that lasted more than seven hours that Krasner got on the phone with Maurice Hill, a would-be mass murderer armed with an AR-15, and offered him a lenient sentence of 20 years in jail.

It was a "phony baloney" agreement that he had no intention of honoring, Krasner told The Philadelphia Inquirer. Krasner also disclosed that Shaka Johnson, Hill's lawyer at the time, was in on the ruse. But Krasner's actions that day not only violated the American Bar Association's rules of responsibility, but they also made Krasner a fact witness in the case. 

That created a conflict of interest for Krasner while his office was prosecuting the case; it also raised the question of whether the Commonwealth was stuck with the deal that Krasner proposed on the phone to Hill. 

Last week, a preliminary hearing on the charges against Hill, 37, was held in court. And the question remains why is Krasner's office still prosecuting the case?

As usual, when it comes to questions posed by this blog, Krasner and Jane Roh, his alleged spokesperson, did not respond to a request for comment.

Spokespersons for the state Attorney General's office and the U.S. Attorney's office also did not  respond to requests for comment.

In addition, an employee who works for Edward Meehan, Hill's current defense lawyer, stated that Meehan would not answer any questions about the case. Such as whether Meehan plans to argue in court that the Commonwealth should honor the deal that Krasner proposed on the phone last year to Hill, namely giving him only a 20-year jail sentence for shooting and wounding six cops, none of them fatally.

Last week, a preliminary hearing for Hill was held in Common Pleas Court where Hill is charged with dozens of counts that include attempted murder, aggravated assault, and assault on a law enforcement officer. More than 200 shots were fired during the standoff that forced the evacuation of a nearby daycare, and a lockdown on part of the Temple University campus.

During the standoff, a SWAT team had to rescue two cops trapped inside the building while Hill was still firing away at officers that had him surrounded.

Meanwhile, Larry Krasner, a rank amateur at hostage negotiations, was on the phone playing let's make a deal with Hill and his lawyer.

"Early on, I said 25 [years], then he said 20 and I said OK," Krasner told The Philadelphia Inquirer. When Hill asked for the deal in writing, Krasner told the newspaper he started a draft, but didn't finish it.

But according to the American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Responsibility, Rule 8.4,  "It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to . . . engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation."

At the time Krasner offered his phony baloney deal to Hill and his lawyer, former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham told Big Trial, "When a prosecutor offers a defendant a plea deal the prosecutor is stuck with it. He [Krasner] started to write a deal out on a piece of paper. It's just outrageous. Everything about that is wrong."

Krasner's refusal to discuss with the police his actions the day he offered the phony baloney plea bargain was mentioned in court papers filed earlier this year in U.S. District Court.

In a civil rights lawsuit filed against the district attorney's office, Philadelphia Police Detective Derrick Jacobs included as an exhibit a Jan. 27th memo he sent to then Deputy Police Commissioner Dennis Wilson.

"While we're on the subject" of the cops investigating criminal activity on the part of the D.A.'s office, Jacobs wrote Wilson, "have you or the Commissioner asked Larry Krasner why he was involved with Maurice Hill during his attempt to kill multiple police officers?"

Jacobs, as a member of the Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Unit, was one of the cops who investigated Hill's crimes.

In U.S. District Court, Jacobs has charged District Attorney Larry Krasner and Assistant D.A. Tracy Tripp with conspiring to maliciously prosecute him because he refused to change his testimony about his investigation into an officer-involved shooting involving former police officer Ryan Pownall.

In his memo, Jacobs also asked Wilson why Krasner, "as a 'fact witness,' is not cooperating with the investigators or in the [police] investigation by providing an interview regarding this contact with Mr. Hill during the standoff."

A year after Krasner interjected himself into the cop shootings, it remains a question that still hasn't been answered.

Apparently, D.A. Krasner not only considers himself above questioning by reporters, but he also considers himself above questioning by the police.

The amazing thing is that some responsible adult, such as the state Attorney General or the U.S. Attorney, hasn't stepped in by now and taken the case away from Krasner. 

Because the district attorney's foolish showboating has made him a liability in the prosecution of an armed and dangerous drug dealer who shot six cops.  


  1. Does the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct apply to federal prosecutors? Because dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation is ALL they do. How else do you think they have a 97% conviction rate.

    1. It applies to all attorneys but not cops or agents. The 97% conviction rate is because they have far more time to prepare well for cases and there are serious incentives for defendants in the federal system to plead. Where defendants have little to gain from a plea deal, such as in a murder case, the conviction rate falls into the 60s. So it's more about the incentives than deceit by prosecutors, though there are always exceptions.

      In Krasner's case, he's probably f---ed. How does he argue that the deal was fake, without admitting that he was engaged in deceit? He wasn't obligated to be the negotiator, and there don't appear to be any exceptions in the rules for "necessity." That's why he's not talking. If you need to engage in deceit to solve a case, you let the investigators do it, thereby preserving the public's confidence (such as it is, at least) in attorneys.

      On the other hand, the question of "verbal deals" by DAs is now in front of the PA Supreme Court, thanks to Cosby and Kevin Steele. Of course Mr. Hill will be watching closely.

  2. I'm interested in knowing what Wilson's reply was. Could it be part of the reason why he took his "voluntary" demotion?

  3. Ralph, if you did not do this work i.e., investigating and reporting such egregious, unprofessional and reckless conduct by Krasner, then Philly citizens would be unaware of this travesty. Where is the voice of elected officials, city leaders and prominent business professionals to call out such cowardly and feckless conduct? Where is the INQUIRER on this? Where is 6ABC, CBS3 and NBC10? What has happened to their obligation and mission to report on key and critical incidents such as these to the Philly citizenry? While cops are being shot and shot at, the DA is selling out his office and the police officers who protect this city. Krasner and others in city leadership have no sense of honor, propriety and dignity with respect to those in BLUE who serve this city.

    Michael Skiendzielewski, Captain (Retired), PPD

    1. Some direction from the mainstream media might be helpful, such as: are crimes that were long believed to be crimes now not a crime if DA Krasners office deems them no longer punishable?

      Who does the mainstream media take directions from, the prosecution? It might be helpful to know if we need to alter a lifetime of beliefs overnight.

      Please make our lives easier,please let us know if crimes are no longer crimes, because right now the world is upside down and we need direction. Give us something to work with,a diagram or a blueprint would be helpful. Anything that would help us understand.

      Baby killers get house arrest, gun violators go free, criminals who shoot at cops and hold entire neighborhoods hostage get to negotiate with the DA for a lighter sentence.

      We know the mainstream media believe that all politicians are crooks, well except for progressive politicians, they have made that fact very clear.

      A little direction will help us all to cope because right now it looks like the criminals are in charge and the rest of us need to be fearful of getting it wrong. Prosecutors hold all the cards and citizens are right to be fearful and confused. Innocents can go to jail for life for no crime whatsoever and criminals walk the streets.

  4. RULE # 1 for Hostage negotiations is that you never lie to the Hostage taker. If you get caught in a lie you are done and have zero credit with them. Of course Krasner has zero knowledge of the subject and should never of been allowed in the inner perimeter.

  5. What does one need to do to file charges against the Mayor, DA, etc.? It appears they are above the law and continue to do what they want no matter how illegal or wrong it is. When will this stop?


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