Friday, November 13, 2020

Man Confesses To Theft Caught On Video; But D.A. Won't Prosecute

By Ralph Cipriano

It was a slam-dunk criminal case, complete with a suspect caught on video, and a confession.

But it wasn't enough for the District Attorney's office to prosecute under Progressive Larry Krasner.

On Oct 8th, cops from the 26th Police District apprehended Joseph Scott after a foot chase. They showed Scott a surveillance video capturing him and an associate trying to steal a catalytic converter. 

Scott waived his Miranda rights and gave a statement saying yes, that was him on the video. He was the guy behind the wheel of a Honda at 5 a.m. on Oct. 4th, who transported Michael Soder to 2600 Coral Street, so Soder could unsuccessfully attempt to cut the catalytic converter off of a 1993 Ford E250 van. The cops charged Scott, 35, of the 2000 block of East Letterly Street, with theft, criminal mischief, and criminal conspiracy. 

Scott had a rap sheet featuring six arrests, including three thefts, two aggravated assaults, and one bust for narcotics. He's also been charged previously with illegally carrying firearms. He was out on bail after being arrested for stealing another catalytic converter just two months earlier, and was due in court on Nov. 18th.

But when Scott's most recent arrest on Oct. 8th went to the district attorney's office for prosecution, Assistant District Attorney Joo Kim declined to prosecute the case, saying there was insufficient evidence.

The cops were furious. But frequently under District Attorney Larry Krasner, this is how the criminal justice system works under Krasner's so-called "reforms." The criminal goes free, the cops get treated like the enemy, and the victim is an afterthought. 

 Assistant District Attorney Kim did not respond to a request for comment on why he declined to prosecute the Oct. 8th arrest of Joseph Scott for stealing a catalytic converter.

As usual, also not responding to a request for comment was Kim's boss, District Attorney Larry Krasner, and Jane Roh, Krasner's alleged spokesperson.

When Joseph Scott was busted on Oct. 8th for attempting to steal a catalytic converter, it wasn't his first rodeo.

On Aug. 5th, the cops arrested Scott and charged him with theft, criminal mischief, criminal conspiracy, receiving stolen property, carrying firearms in public, carrying an unlicensed firearm, and possession of an instrument of crime. 

Those are the charges that Scott is due in court to answer on Nov. 18th. 
Scott wasn't a stranger to Police Officer Francis Leaden, one of the cops who arrested him on Aug. 5th. On April 5th,  Leaden and another officer arrested Scott after they found a stolen catalytic converter in his Mercury Grand Marquis that was sawed off of a stolen U-Haul truck. 

Again, the crime was caught on surveillance video. When the cops searched Scott's Mercury, they also found a .380 handgun with a magazine containing four live rounds. Scott was charged with carrying an unlicensed firearm, two counts of theft, criminal conspiracy, carrying a firearm in public, unauthorized use of an auto, and criminal mischief.

But Scott is still out there on the street, free to commit more crimes. 

The district attorney's frequent decisions not to prosecute arrests made by the cops -- known formally as declinations issued by the D.A.'s office -- has been a prior source of controversy, because of official lies about that practice emanating from Krasner's office.

On June 19, 2019, William J. Heeney, then a candidate for City Council, filed a right-to-know request seeking the "number of cases declined by the District Attorney Charging Unit from January 2018 to present, and documented reasons for the declination."

On June 26, 2019, the district attorney's office requested a 30-day extension to reply to Heeney's request. 

On July 29, 2019, the D.A.'s office, with Krasner's name stamped on the top of their official stationary, sent Heeney a formal denial of his request, written by an appropriately named assistant district attorney, Benjamin Jackal.

"Your request is denied," Jackal wrote Heeney. "The DAO does not have possession, custody or control of records responsive to your request."

This was a lie. As one city official subsequently wrote Big Trial, "There is a weekly report generated to a select number of personnel in the Police Department and the District Attorney's Office via email documenting every declination (refusal by the District Attorney to prosecute a case) and the reason for the declination."

In response, Heeney sued the D.A.'s office in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court. In his Feb. 22nd lawsuit, Heeney wrote, "The reasons the District Attorney provides lack merit. They are mere attempts to hide the underlying progressive agenda the District Attorney's office wishes to maintain in the city of Philadelphia."

The citizens of Philadelphia, Heeney wrote, "who are supposed to be protected by the office of the District Attorney, are entitled to know why its chief law enforcement officer is declining to prosecute criminal cases."

But Krasner has never released those records because he doesn't want the public to know about the  2,562 cases his office declined to prosecute during 2018, his first year in office, or about 49 cases a week. These cases run the gamut of crimes, including aggravated assault, prostitution, bringing weapons to school, robbery and rape.

Records kept by police show that declinations by the D.A.'s office are stacking up this year, but at a reduced rate than previous years.

For example, in the past five weeks, from Oct. 5th to Nov. 8th, the district attorney's office under Krasner has declined 136 cases for prosecution, or some 27 cases a week.

The cases turned down for prosecution during that five-week period include 18 alleged cases of aggravated assault, six alleged simple assaults, nine alleged burglaries, seven alleged prostitution cases,  two alleged robberies, two alleged arsons, three alleged violations of the Uniform Firearms Act, and one case of alleged terroristic threats.

That's one way to lower the crime rate.

Assistant District Attorney Kim is a major player in issuing the declinations; of the 136 declinations, Kim's responsible for 42 of them. In Krasner's office, that might earn him a merit badge.

But as you might imagine, issuing all those declinations has not made ADA Kim popular with cops.

"The same ADA systematically declines cases for thefts and burglaries of frivolous or improper reasons," one cop said. "And many officers and detectives have complained about him."

But in ADA Kim's defense, he's probably doing just what the boss ordered.


  1. How insulting and demoralizing for a dedicated and active police officer to pursue their profession knowing that the alleged highest law enforcement official supports recidivism before a charge is even made. As street crime and homicide continue to rise it is apparent that the interest of the DA is on charging police rather than the criminal element. His words at the Wallace family press conference where he was joined by the lawyer suing the city on their behalf was incompetence at best and an illegal compromise of his oath by calling the shooting a killing and jeopardizing both the innocence of the officers and the civil case against the City. The question is does his law firm retain any connection with police actions and civil suits brought against the City by other law firms.

  2. Friggin' three ring circus replete with a troupe of bungling, politically correct, Bozo clowns. Frank Rizzo must be tuning over in his grave. This really strains the bounds of credibility. Had to pinch myself just to be sure I wasn't reading in my sleep. Democraps at work once again.

  3. Ralph, phenomenal work as usual. When will the Feds step in ?
    This is atrocious, to say the least. How can anyone defend this A-hole Krasner ?

  4. We may have reached the time to focus on The Court of Common Pleas where Judge Gary Glazer has brought close scrutiny and ridicule for his biased ruling in favor of the Board of Elections not permitting outside observers from watching the questionable and most probable criminal manipulation of tabulating ballots.

    Judge Gary Glazer may have greater issues with bribery and payoffs to Ozzie Myers in years past in order to retain his Seat on the Bench.

  5. Vincent DiGregorio

    Congrats, Phila. voters who keep pulling the D lever and then wonder why the city is in a chaotic state. You're the reason we get "regressives" like Krasner!

  6. AMAZING! An arrest with a video of the incident and a confession and the DA refuses to prosecute yet in the Lynn, Englehardt, Shero and Avery cases, where the "victim" has been proven to be totally untruthful and yet the District Attorney's Office won't correct the record or drop the prosecution of Msgr. Lynn. Talk about hypocrisy and not following the cannons of attorney conduct. VERY INTERESTING and HYPROCRITICAL!!!!!!!!!!


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