Wednesday, October 21, 2020

DA's Gun Violence Counselor Shoots And Kills Male Prostitute

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

As a member of the District Attorney's Immediate Response Team, DeVonte' Douglass routinely goes out to crime scenes, hospitals, and the medical examiner's office when there's been a homicide, to aid victims' families. 

Shortly before 10 a.m. yesterday, Douglass had an up close and personal experience involving a homicide in a case where Douglass was identified by police as the shooter. But according to Douglass's version of the story, he was also a crime victim.

It happened shortly before 10 a.m. yesterday, at the intersection of 31st and Lehigh Streets, adjacent to the Mount Peace Cemetery. At a time when most employees at the D.A.'s office are expected to be at work, Douglass told police he shot and killed Vernon Harris, whom he had met on Instagram, and agreed "to a sexual encounter in exchange for money," police said.

According to police, the two black males met at 27th and Cambria. Douglass, 28, of the 2900 block of North Bambrey St.,  got into a white Dodge Durango driven by Harris, 31, of the 1800 block of Harrison Street, and then they drove to the cemetery. After their encounter, which took place in the back seat of the vehicle, with the windows open, Douglass told police, Harris stood outside the vehicle and pointed a gun at Douglass, and demanded all his money.

Harris then placed his gun inside his waistband. But when Harris started reaching around the vehicle, Douglass told police that he feared that Harris was going to take out his gun again and shoot him. So Douglass drew his gun and shot Harris twice in the chest, killing him. Then he ran across Lehigh Avenue, pleading for someone to call police. 

Police recovered a 9 mm gun registered to Douglass. 

Douglass, who was wearing his DA's ID badge around his neck, was transported to the homicide unit. The case was subsequently referred to the state attorney general's office, a spokesperson for the AG said, but to date, no arrest has been made.

Harris had a dozen prior arrests, including three for robbery, as well as for assault, theft, criminal mischief, and narcotics. His last arrest was on July 14, 2019 for robbery, aggravated assault, and reckless endangerment. He was out on bail of $30,000 monetary, meaning he had to put down 10 percent, or $3,000 to get out of jail. 

But on May 21st, Harris's bail was lowered to $30,000 unsecured, meaning he didn't have to post a cent with the court to get released. He was released from prison on June 2nd, and was currently on probation until next February. But he was only alive for another five months.

Police confiscated a Smith & Wesson .357 magnum from Harris's waistband, but couldn't find any records involving the gun. 

District Attorney Larry Krasner did not respond to a request for comment on whether Douglass was arrested, or subject to any disciplinary action as a result of his behavior. 

Krasner and his alleged spokesperson, Jane Roh, also did not respond to a question about whether Douglass was on duty when he was having his tryst that ended in homicide.

In their attempts to cover up the latest scandal in the D.A.'s office, Krasner and Roh were aided by all the other media outlets in town who decided to impose a news blackout on this story.

On Twitter, Kristen Johanson, a KYW reporter, explained that the story was only worthy of a brief, with no names mentioned, because Douglass had not been arrested for a crime. Johanson also tweeted that it would be "hurtful," "spiteful," and might possibly cause "irreparable harm" to out someone for being gay, especially if the nature of the relationship was unknown. 

I would argue that Douglass told the police the precise nature of the relationship when he stated that he met the guy on Instagram, and agreed "to a sexual encounter in exchange for money." I would also argue that it was hurtful to Harris when Douglass shot him to death, and that Harris may have also suffered irreparable harm when he stopped breathing. 

Johanson also tweeted that outing Douglass amounted to "sensationalism" and "mockery." But I'd have to say that when you have a gun violence counselor employed by the D.A.'s office who shoots and kills a male prostitute that he solicited for sex, that's a pretty sensational event. If you write about it. 

But thanks to the sensitivities of our local "woke" news media, Larry Krasner was spared some embarrassing publicity over a fairly outrageous episode. I'm sure he and Jane Roh are very appreciative but not surprised by the kid glove treatment they continue to enjoy from the local media. While a record number of Philadelphians are being shot and killed on the streets, often by armed and dangerous criminals that Krasner lets out of jail. 

Douglass is a peer crisis responder who assists victims of gun violence as a member of the D.A.'s CARES program, which stands for Crisis Assistance, Response, and Engagement for Survivors. The D.A.'s office previously spotlighted Douglass's role in April during National Crime Victims Rights Week. 

“A lot of time when [families] are facing trauma and feeling rage, they are upset that a person was taken from them, and we can’t be with them every step of the way like we used to before the epidemic," Douglass was quoted as saying.  

"I take it personally that we can’t do all we want right now, but I’m constantly following up with the clients. Are they taking care, eating, and not sitting in a dark room locked away? We explain why we can’t be on site, but regardless of that, I don’t care what time it is, they can still reach me on my cell."

“They are going through trauma, but I’m there for them and understand their pain," Douglass was quoted as saying. "I’ll listen to their pain, no matter if it is a five minute or three-hour conversation.”

When the D.A. spotlighted Douglass, he talked about his background.

“I’m a criminal justice major and criminal justice has been this big thing for me," Douglass said. "I want to help people and CARES allows me to help people from the victim side. This is personal for me, when you see homicides taking place in our city, and I want to do my part to help people who are hurt by gun violence."

"I had a friend who was killed, and this is my way to respond, to talk to families, and to make sure they understand the process and to help them through it from investigation to court,” Douglass was quoted as saying.

Douglass is not the first member of the D.A.'s office under Larry Krasner to be involved in a crime during office hours.

On May 11th, Assistant District Attorney Dana Lynn Bazelon, a top aide and policy advisor to Krasner, was arrested for allegedly leaving her four-year-old daughter unattended in a parked car. That case was also referred to the state attorney general's office for prosecution.

A spokesperson for the AG's office did not respond to a question regarding the current status of the case against Bazelon.

19 comments

  1. Why isn't Chief Rocks AKA Ace Ventura on the investigation? Oh I forgot it's not a cop!!! By the way Jerry your 30 days as interim chief are up! #6 got it???? Lol

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  2. Gee why didn't he just shoot him in the leg! Right Larry?

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  3. He can still run for office as dem because they don't care about dead people in a car....just saying

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  4. Krasner only issues arrests for "hurtful words" not hurtful violence

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  5. "Police also confiscated a Smith & Wesson .357 magnum from Harris's waistband........" How is it that Harris' gun was found in his waistband after he was just pointing it at Douglas who was afraid for his life???

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  6. Breaking news. Commissioner Outlaw revealed at a City Council meeting on tear gas that 12 Philadelphia police cars were torched and 72 police cars were damaged and had to be towed to a police garage. She didn't provide any statistics on how many of the 72 cars were repaired and returned to duty. No stats on how many of the damaged police cars were totaled and relegated to scrapping for parts. Bottom line, City Council is nuts for banning the use of tear gas when it was not the police who torched and damaged their cars!

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  7. "...No Harm No Foul," reported Douglas to his immediate Supervisor.

    In Krasner's World, a valued member of his Team can be on the cock while on the clock.

    In this Upside Down World, Douglas relates a cemetery to a gay playground, even Pope Francis now approves of Homo Slides.

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  8. Well we know who the winner of October's DA office employee of the month is.

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  9. Go get 'em, Ralph...

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  10. Bath House Barry wanted to make a Pit Stop in the Gayborhood on his way to the Love Fest in South Philly Today. He needed some sun block for his purple lips.

    His Secret Service Detail objected, advising that two black queers dying on one day may be too much for the Inquirer to publish or DA Krasner to investigate.

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  11. "....that Harris may have also suffered irreparable harm when he stopped breathing...."

    Master of the understatement, Ralph.

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    Replies
    1. As a retired PPD Commander are you not sickened by a DA who employs admitted sex deviants and felons??

      Confessing to killing a male prostitute may get this putz a place in the Harris/Biden Administration for Advanced Blow Jobs and Drug Addicts.

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    2. "But when Harris started reaching around the vehicle"

      That probably wasn't the first reach around in their encounter.

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  12. Only in a world of liberals can you murder someone for paying for sex and not a peep on local news channels. What a fucking joke! I hope he gets charged with Homicide. That would be amazing. Shame on the media for not speaking of the precious district attorneys office and krasners corrupt minions.

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  13. I don't remember Edward "Fast Eddie" Savitz ever shooting anyone after one of his MANY encounters with underage male prostitutes??? My how times have changed!!!!!!!

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  14. Interesting that the Inquirer ran a story about this killing in Friday's paper and even credited Big Trial for breaking the story. Very telling, however, that no mention was made of the fact that Douglass had paid this murdered man for sex at that encounter.

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  15. I used to run my Route through Philly for 3.5 Years. IT WAS HELL ON EARTH.

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