Friday, August 13, 2021

At D.A.'s Office, Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead

By Ralph Cipriano

Today, beginning at 2:45 p.m. on the mezzanine level of the Philadelphia District Attorney's office, they'll be holding a little party, featuring "pizza and beverages" for departing Assistant District Attorney Patricia Cummings.

"As we wrap up another long week here at the DAO, I would like to invite you all to a small gathering to celebrate the work and wisdom of our very own, beloved, Patricia Cummings," ADA Dana Bazelon wrote in an email yesterday afternoon to a few select employees at the D.A.'s office. 

Cummings, as chief of Krasner's Conviction Integrity Unit, has been responsible for springing 26 convicted murderers and rapists out of jail that the D.A. arbitrarily decided had been falsely accused and convicted. Cummings, who had a reputation for being an "untouchable" in the D.A.'s office answerable only to Krasner, was also responsible for waging a secret war against police.

For the past four years, using complaint files and personnel records, Cummings has sought to discredit some 750 cops by putting them on a misconduct register, according to the Inquirer. Dozens of those cops also wound up on a "Do Not Testify" list. 

If a cop can't testify against a defendant, the defendant goes free. And that's a prospect that warms the heart of Krasner, the former ponytailed, radical defense lawyer who defended accused drug dealers, murderers and rabble rousers for 30 years while famously suing the police department 75 times.

This week, the D.A.'s war on cops spilled out in public when Krasner and Cummings went to Philadelphia Common Pleas Court and Municipal Court, seeking a contempt order against the Police Department, for not turning over personnel files and complaints regarding cops involved in a half-dozen ongoing criminal cases. 

At a 41-minute press conference, Krasner disclosed that his office has dropped some 4,000 subpoenas on the police department, which he claimed has routinely been stonewalling when it comes to handing over documents that they are constitutionally required to disclose.

"The only people being helped by the system are a small number of dirty cops," Krasner charged, with the soon-to-be-departed Cummings at his side.

In discussing his war on cops, Krasner declared that his only goal was to ensure that "the process is fair and there is compliance with the Constitution."

The problem, as Krasner saw it, is that too often, internal police records contain proof that cops lie. And that when D.A.'s office asks for records "that have shown deceit" on the part of cops, Krasner said, the FOP and the PPD stonewall by either not turning over the records, or turning them over heavily redacted with "a digital black marker."

In introducing Cummings at his press conference, Krasner hailed her "distinguished work" in freeing 26 convicted murderers and rapists. According to Krasner, Cummings, "has set something of a national standard" for freeing convicted felons that Krasner contends were "innocent people sitting in jail for decades" for crimes they didn't commit.

Unfortunately, in these "exonerations," there is no traditional adversarial process where evidence is presented, and witnesses come in and testify in front of a judge and/or a jury, so that the credibility of the evidence and the witnesses can be weighed.

Instead, when somebody is "exonerated" under Krasner and Cummings, a defense lawyer files a petition for a new trial alleging all kinds of police and prosecutorial misconduct. Krasner's office responds by agreeing not to fight it.  Then, when the motion for a new trial is granted, the D.A.'s office lays down again and drops the charges, and the convicted felon goes free.

Instead of a judge and jury presiding over a clash between prosecutors and defense lawyers, to find out the truth, in the new world order of Krasner and Cummings, everybody's playing on the same team, so there's no need to fight.

And once a former felon gets "exonerated," he or she can file a civil rights lawsuit against the city, and collect. As did Anthony Wright, a fave "exonerated" felon of Krasner's that the D.A. has repeatedly extolled at his press conferences. In the civil courts, after the city laid down, Wright hit the lottery, collecting $10 million.

How's that for criminal justice "reform?"

In her remarks, Cummings said she was going to follow Krasner's request to "get a little more nutsy and boltsy" with reporters about the specifics of the D.A.'s beef with the police department.

What she's after, Cummings said, is "impeaching information, any kind of information that could effect the credibility of a witness." She wants the police department to turn over any records that show that cops may have "lied" or "been deceitful about the use of excessive force." Or maybe by their social media posts, she said, cops have "shown themselves to be racially biased."

All of those allegations can be used to impeach the credibility of a cop, so he or she can't testify in court against an alleged criminal, so the alleged criminal can go free.

Cummings lamented that she and Krasner had to go to court to threaten their "partner in law enforcement" by asking a judge to hold the PPD in contempt, which, if carried out to the extreme, might put somebody in jail.

But that's not what they're after, Cummings said.

"What we want is compliance," she said. "We want them [the PPD] to be forced to comply." And on top of that, Krasner said, he wants a judge to monitor the police department in the future to make sure that they turn over whatever they're supposed to to the D.A.'s office. 

Such as records that may contain "all kinds of facts about officers lying," Cummings said, impeaching information that "goes to the very core of what it means to be credible or not credible."

Both Krasner and Cummings were condescending in their remarks about Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw's response to their demands.

"We have hopes that she wants to do the right thing," Cummings said about the docile Outlaw, a lightweight who's always afraid to take on Krasner publicly, no matter how many armed and dangerous criminals he lets out of jail. And no matter how many people may get shot or killed in the process. 

This in a town where, as of last night, we have 329 murders, as opposed to this same date last year when we had 261 murders, a 26% increase. At this rate, Philadelphia will set an all-time record this year with 628 murders. The old record, set back in 1990, at the height of crack cocaine epidemic, was 500.

Sadly, according to Cummings, Outlaw "doesn't absolutely understand the depths of the problem we've been confronting." But, Cummings assured the reporters in the room, "We're doing everything with integrity."

In his remarks, Krasner said he spoke to Outlaw the day before, and that the police commissioner showed "a willingness and commitment to further this conversation."

Krasner also took a swipe at Outlaw's boss, Mayor Kenney. The D.A. confided that he tried to talk to Kenney about this issue, but "the mayor's not terribly accessible these days." 

Despite that, Krasner said, "I'd be delighted to have a phone call from Mayor Kenney right now."

Got that, Jim "Mask-Up, Vax-Up" Kenney? When you get a free minute from imposing more restrictions and crackdowns on the civil liberties of your subjects, Krasner wants you to call him.

At his press conference, Krasner also slammed FOP President John McNesby, saying that McNesby is "hellbent" on protecting dirty cops, and that "John McNesby lives in Frank Rizzo's shadow."

Rizzo, who's been dead for 30 years, is still very much alive in the mind of Larry Krasner as the villain he loves to hate.

Ultimately, Krasner said, his goal is to change the culture of the police department and get the public to realize they can "trust this office."

"That is what we are trying to accomplish here," Krasner said at the end of his press conference.

It all sounded perfectly reasonable, but there are a few problems with trusting the D.A.'s office.

Problem No.1 -- we can't trust Cummings.

That's because Cummings, who gave one speech after another about the credibility of cops, and lectures about constitutional rights, has some glaring credibility problems of her own that were the subject of Outcry, a five-part documentary series that aired last year on Showtime.

Outcry presented the story of Greg Kelley, a high school football star in Texas who in 2014, was sentenced to 25 years in prison without parole for sexually assaulting a four-year old child in a day care.

Only Kelley was falsely convicted. And one of the villains of the Showtime series was Patricia Cummings,  Kelley's defense lawyer at the time, whom a judge found, was not only ineffective, but also had an undisclosed conflict of interest. 

It turned out that Cummings had as a former client the woman who owned the day care where the attack on the four year-old took place. And the owner of the day care had a son who not only lived there, but also was a dirt ball suspected of being the real child abuser.

But Cummings kept quiet about her conflict of interest for three years while Greg Kelley, an innocent man, rotted in jail. It's a situation that Cumming, Ms. Integrity and Transparency herself, declined to discuss last year when I asked her about it.

This is the same ADA Cummings -- the gal who presented herself at the press conference as a paragon of virtue on the hunt for dishonest cops -- who, during her time in Philadelphia, was recently admonished by a federal judge for her own lack of candor.

Problem No. 2 -- we can't trust Krasner.

Time after time, Krasner has failed to fulfill his obligation as D.A. to be a "minister of justice," especially when he's going after cops. Since he took office Krasner has sought felony indictments against 52 cops. But luckily for the cops, Krasner's prosecutors are so inept that his present won-loss record against the cops in those felony indictments is 0 for 52. 

That's right. For the past four years, when the 52 accused cops went to court, not a single judge or jury has ever bought a Krasner argument that any of the cops had committed a felony.

Worse, Krasner has repeatedly gone into court with case after case against a cop that turns out to have a an overzealous prosecutor behind it but no evidence. A glaring example was Krasner's indictment of former Staff Inspector Joe Bologna, whom Krasner claimed had used his metal baton to bash the skull of a protester, opening a wound that required 10 staples and 10 sutures.

The only problem was that video of the event, which was broken down frame-by-frame in the courtroom, clearly showed the judge who tossed the case that Bologna's baton never struck the protester's head.

Instead, the video clearly showed that Bologna's baton struck a backpack on the protester's shoulder. According to department regulations, as an expert witness testified, that's a perfectly justifiable and permissible use of force to employ aganst a protester who was interfering with another officer making an arrest. 

In his witch hunt against former Chief Inspector Carl Holmes, Krasner was also personally implicated for prosecutorial misconduct, because he failed to disclose a personal conflict of interest. The conflict: as a defense lawyer in 1996, Krasner represented Christopher Butler, the convicted robber of a 7-11 who pointed a gun at Holmes, and was found guilty of assaulting him. Butler got 6 to 12 years for the robbery.

Krasner also represented Butler in a civil rights suit against the city, claiming that after Butler robbed the 7-11 and pointed a gun at Holmes, Holmes used excessive force against Butler by shooting him seven times. The civil rights suit was settled in 1997 for $80,000. Because of his conflicts, Holmes's lawyer is asking a judge to disqualify Krasner as prosecutor in the case. 

In another case recently documented on Big Trial, Krasner's office dropped the charges against Stefon Crawley, who told Officer Timothy Stephan, "You're gonna have to fucking kill me" three times while he was struggling with the officer. In the struggle, Crawley, who had a Glock in his waistband, grabbed the officer's gun, and the cop had to shoot him. 

The D.A.'s office subsequently dropped the charges against Crawley because that same D.A.'s office hadn't cleared Officer Stephan yet for the shooting, so he conveniently couldn't testify against Crawley. 

Was that a coincidence? You be the judge.

After the charges were dropped against him, Crawley, represented by Krasner's former defense firm, filed a civil rights case against the cop. 

Does anyone see a pattern here? As in follow the money?

Then, after 3 1/2 years, when the D.A.'s office finally got around to clearing Office Stephan in the shooting, nobody in the D.A.'s office could explain to Officer Stephan why they didn't rearrest and re-charge Crawely. 

We're talking about a gang member and convicted armed robber on parole who was packing a stolen Glock with an extended, foot-long magazine. If the D.A.'s office was on the up and up, they should have rearrested Crawley, and charged him again with aggravated assault on a cop, and three weapons charges. 

But they didn't, and they wouldn't even tell the cop who almost got killed why.

Hey D.A. Krasner. While you're calling on the police department to be more open and transparent, why don't you tell Officer Stephan, and the rest of us for that matter, if you gave immunity to the criminal who tried to kill him?

Oh, and while you're talking about stonewalling, Mr. Krasner, I can testify that you're an expert on that subject. Because for the past 24 months, you and Jane Roh have stonewalled every question I've ever asked you.

The case of Officer Stephan was detailed in a civil rights case filed July 30th in U.S. District Court by former Philadelphia Police Detective Derrick Jacobs, who is acting as his own lawyer. The case lists as defendants the city of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Police Department, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw, and several top police officials, in addition to District Attorney Larry Krasner and Assistant District Attorney Tracy Tripp.

In his complaint, Jacobs charged that the D.A.'s office under Krasner, as well as the police department's Internal Affairs Bureau, are "using complaint files to discredit officers to have cases dismissed in court."

Jacobs cited a case where information was turned over to a defense lawyer involving a cop's daughter who was repeatedly raped by a family member between the ages of 6 to 14.

When the cop found out, she filed charges against the family member, who was convicted and sent to jail. When he got out of jail, Jacobs wrote, the family member filed a "frivolous abuse of power" complaint with the Police Department's Internal Affairs Division against the cop who put him away.

The complaint was dismissed, but according to Jaccobs' lawsuit, either the police department's Internal Affairs Division or the district attorney's office "provided the sordid details" about the daughter being repeatedly raped to a defense attorney so he could argue that the cop had a habit of abusing her authority.

"When the officer, who along with their daughter, are now traumatized, complained, the DAO retaliated against the officer and placed the officer on the Do Not Testify list to punish them for complaining," Jacobs wrote in his lawsuit. 

Wow. Hey Larry Krasner, exposing the rape of an innocent victim, and then jamming up her mother the cop for complaining about it doesn't exactly sound like you're living up to your stated goals of ensuring that "the process is fair and there is compliance with the Constitution."

No, what you did to that cop and her daughter sounds like vindictiveness to me. 

Because that's who you really are.

It's also rich that Larry Krasner would talk at a press conference about transparency, credibility, and dishonesty in his crusade to hold the police department accountable. Because right now, Krasner has on his staff as a senior advisor on policy, the Rev. Gregory Holston, a former lawyer who was disbarred after he forged a judge's signature on a divorce petition, and when the judge confronted him, he lied about it.

Krasner also has on his staff Assistant District Attorney Joseph Torda, who was publicly accused by his ex-girlfriend, a self-proclaimed "stripper, model & e-slut," of breaking into her apartment and stealing some homemade porn that ADA Torda had allegedly co-starred in.  

Next, there's Assistant District Attorney Dana Bazelon, the pizza party planner for Cummings' going away bash. She's another top advisor to Krasner who was arrested for allegedly abandoning her four-year-old daughter in a locked car.

And finally, there's G. Lamar Stewart, the D.A.'s chief of community engagement, who allegedly got into a road rage incident with an FBI agent. This is the same G. Lamar Stewart who was riding around town in plainclothes, an unmarked police car, and not carrying a gun, so he wasn't supposed to be pulling anybody over. 

And this is the same G. Lamar Stewart, who, after he pulled over the FBI agent and the agent flashed his badge, allegedly fled the scene, to be chased by the FBI agent and several cops.

Hey Larry, while you're talking about holding the police accountable, do you ever hold any of your own staffers accountable for breaking the law?

While Krasner was lecturing all of us about transparency, integrity and trust, maybe he could divulge how much former prosecutor Adan Foss got paid for training Krasner's rookie prosecutors for nine weeks back in 2018. 

That's the same Adam Foss who's currently the subject of a criminal investigation in Boston after he was subsequently and publicly accused by several women of being a serial predator, and rapist who was knowingly spreading STDs. 

When I asked Krasner in a right-to-know request how much Foss got paid, the DAO denied that request. 

So much for transparency.

Problem No. 3 -- We can't trust The Philadelphia Inquirer to report honestly on Krasner.

The Inquirer has never informed the public about Jacobs' lawsuit, or about Krasner's conflict of interest in the Carl Holmes case, or about the Rev. Holston being disbarred, or ADA Torda allegedly stealing his girlfriend's porn.

The Inquirer has never informed the public about G. Lamar Stewart allegedly pulling over an FBI agent, or about Adam Foss and his legal problems, or the fact that the D.A. himself is a tax deadbeat.

The Inquirer is also guilty of having dishonestly reported the facts of the shooting incident involving Officer Stephan, an incident that could have cost the officer his life.

In the shooting involving Officer Stephan, Samantha Melamed of the Inquirer ridiculously slanted two stories in favor of Crawley, and against Officer Stephan. Melamed's stories were so slanted that not even Crawley agreed with her distorted version of the facts of the shooting, when he testified in a civil deposition.

In the civil courts, Crawley was no doubt hoping that after he violated parole, packed a stolen Glock, and tried to kill a cop, he would be rewarded with a big pay day.

That's justice, Larry Krasner style. The cop, who almost got killed, is the one on trial in a civil rights case. And the criminal who tried to kill him has a chance to hit the lottery.

Melamed, who never met a criminal who wasn't wrongly convicted, is the most prominent, but only one of many offenders at the Inquirer. Instead of holding the D.A. accountable for the record amount of bloodshed in this town, the Inquirer's reporters can always be counted on to cover for Krasner, and pump out propaganda masquerading as news that benefits the twisted values of the D.A.'s office.

While "people of color" that the newspaper allegedly cares so much about are being shot and murdered in record numbers.

The Inquirer's journalistic malpractice regarding the D.A. is so routine and so shameful that on my own website, I've compiled a list of seven of the most egregious examples under the heading, "Krasner's faithful apologists -- The Philadelphia Inquirer."

More recent examples of the Inquirer's softball coverage of Krasner -- in the Inquirer's story about Krasner seeking a contempt order against the cops, a story that disappeared off the newspaper's website within 24 hours, the Inquirer tried to downplay the issue. In an early headline over the story, the editors took a lame stab at humor, as in: "You better learn to share! DA hits cops for not giving up misconduct data."

Another recent example of the softball treatment that the D.A. always gets from the Inquirer -- this pathetic story with the headline, "Larry Krasner finally discusses his infamous ponytail on NPR's 'Wait, Wait . . . Don't Tell Me.'"

It's obvious that reporters at the Inquirer can't talk to our D.A. without first strapping on their kneepads.

Meanwhile, if you can't make Patricia Cummings' going-away party in person today, ADA Bazelon will send you a Zoom link. 

But if you're coming to the party, you can send Bazelon a contribution by Venmo. Or, for those who aren't "tech-savvy," Bazelon wrote, you can hand her "some germ-covered bills at the party." 

Oops, in quoting that Bazelon email, I hope that today's festivities for ADA Cummings wasn't supposed to be a surprise party.

In any event, the ADA regarded by the cops as a witch for persecuting them may be dead. But rest assured that as far as Larry Krasner's concerned, the witch hunt against the cops will go on without her.


  1. Larry is on a mission to lock up every cop and cost the FOP a fortune to defend them. It's all a vendetta. I hope every cop out there stops all arrests. Let the city burn.

  2. Cummings that Bitch among others never lived in the city along with some other Frauds!

  3. I hate to say it, but this paragraph is CENSORSHIP! It makes you no better than. (Fakebook, Google, Twitter) Please rise above CENSORSHIP and allow the United States Constitution rule. Good or bad, in your opinion.
    (Thoughtful commentary welcome. Trolling, harassing, and defaming not welcome. Consistent with 47 U.S.C. 230, we have the right to delete without warning any comments we believe are obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.)

  4. Unlike the Inquirer, which has purged all comments, I usually let everybody have their say here unless they're libeling somebody or endlessly repeating comments they have already made multiple times.

    1. Many news outlets nixed the comments section when it became clear too many people disagreed with the hardcore leftist propaganda spewed forth as "journalism". They said that the comments were "too hateful" or "full of spam", like we haven't been dealing with that since the 90s or something. They want to live in a fantasy world where everyone agrees with them.

  5. Thank you for your great reporting. Your right, how come the da's office doesn't answer or respond to your questions. Ah, the "truth" hurts.

  6. Politicians are united to respond to al-Jazeera News Organizations like the Philadelphia Tribune and Inquirer.

    We fought Foreign Wars to keep the enemy from our shores and cities.

    The Taliban and the DemonRats are the Same.

    Kenney and Friends are the Enemy and must be taken down.

    The Time of Honest Reporting is Over...the Enemy is in Control of the Media.

  7. Answer one of my emails Ralph. I’m telling you. What they did to me because my dad was a Philly detective is a big story with big names …


Thoughtful commentary welcome. Trolling, harassing, and defaming not welcome. Consistent with 47 U.S.C. 230, we have the right to delete without warning any comments we believe are obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.

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