Monday, July 11, 2022

At 'Private' Press Conference, Larry Krasner Hides From

The D.A. hides & glares at me
By Ralph Cipriano

For three years now, District Attorney Larry Krasner has been stonewalling me.

Every week, I've been emailing Larry Krasner one question after another at both of his email addresses,, and [The D.A. is so important that he has two official government emails.]

And for three years now, he's been stiffing me. He never responds. Neither does his official spokesperson, Jane Roh []. This from the guy who on the campaign trail promised to be the most transparent Philly D.A. ever.

So today, I decided to stop by one of Krasner's weekly press conferences, which typically feature a dog-and-pony show, and long speeches from Larry on his soap box. 

Krasner's press conferences typically end with a weekly Q & A with the media. So I was hoping that maybe I could bark out a question above the rabble, and for once, get a straight answer out of our D.A.

The problems started when I attempted to enter the press conference shortly before 11 a.m. Police Officer Agnes Torres of Krasner's security detail promptly informed me that the D.A. was holding was a "private press conference" and that I wasn't allowed to come in. 

With my cell phone video running, I then invited P.O. Torres to explain the concept of a private press conference to Big Trial readers, one of the most avid of whom is reputed to be Larry himself. That's when P.O. Torres ordered me to take my hand off the door knob, and then she locked the door between us.

P.O. Torres guards the fort
It was an impressive show of authority.

But there were too many other reporters and camera crews and other invited guests showing up, so P.O. Torres had to keep opening the door again and again.

Of course no matter how many times she kept opening and closing that door, she wouldn't let me in.

She kept saying that somebody from the office was going to talk to me. But nobody ever did.  

When the press conference started, P.O. Torres left her post and wandered down the hall to hear what Fearless Leader had to say. That's when I tried the door, and found it was unlocked. 

So I went down a long corridor until I reached the press conference. While Krasner was pontificating for the benefit of the TV cameras, I noticed several of his staffers staring at me and whispering. But nobody made a move to throw me out.

What followed was a two-hour cat-and-mouse game where Krasner changed the format of his entire press conference for the single purpose of evading me.

What on earth is this guy afraid of?

Today's press conference was held at the Fairmount Water Works near the Art Museum where Krasner was going to pontificate on the "importance of public pools as community violence prevention."

The speakers included the deputy commissioner of programs in the city Department of Parks and Recreation, the founding coach of a local swim team, a couple of community activists and a couple of Philly lifeguards.

The press conference was delayed when one of the speakers -- the swim coach -- was overcome by the heat, and an ambulance was summoned to bring him to a local hospital. That gave Krasner an opportunity to lead the media on a tour of the building. 

I decided to skip the tour and hang out until the D.A. got back and resumed his press conference. 

When the dog and pony show was finally over, Krasner announced to the press corps that he would only be taking questions during the regular Q&A session regarding the pool program. When that exercise was over, Krasner told the reporters, if they had questions about any other subjects, say the soaring rates of local murders, shooting and carjackings, he would meet with them down the hall to answer all their questions in private one-on-one Q&A's.

What a transparent guy, right? But this was something that media folks and other longtime observers of Krasner press conferences said that the D.A. had never done before. 

The TV guys dutifully lined up in the hallway behind Jeff Cole of Fox 29. One by one they went behind closed doors to have their private confab with Larry. From time to time, I would glance through the window into the fish bowl to watch Krasner in action.

He seemed to be charming my fellow reporters with his charisma and witty rhetoric. One particular time, though, he looked up and glared at me. So I took pictures of him behind the glass.

When all the reporters got through with their private confabs with Krasner, the only ones left in line in the hallway were just me and the reporter from Univision 65 Philadelphia.

That's when P.O. Torres flashed one finger up to D.A. Krasner, indicating he only had one one-on-one interview left to do. I figured it wasn't with me.

Behind closed doors, Krasner charms the press
Suddenly, First Assistant District Attorney Robert Listenbee appeared and began chatting. Listenbee, who has an impressive booming voice, soon attracted the attention of P.O. Torres. 

She informed both of us that we were talking too loud and we had to move down the hall. Then, she partially closed another door in the hallway between us.

I should have detected a set-up right then. I told P.O. Torres I didn't think I was being that loud, but she told me that ADA Listenbee was. 

So we moved down the hallway. In the midst of a friendly conversation with ADA Listenbee, I heard a door open. I pushed open the hallway door and went up the hall, only to discover that the room that Krasner was in was already empty.

The district attorney of Philadelphia had successfully evaded me by sneaking out of the place.

I congratulated P.O. Torres on a well-executed maneuver. I should have congratulated ADA Listenbee as well.

When I went outside, Krasner and the rest of his entourage were nowhere to be seen. 

So Mr. Krasner, I guess it was kind of flattering that you re-arranged the entire format of your press conference just to make sure you wouldn't be subjected to any probing questions from

Once again, I have to ask what are you afraid of, sir? 

This reminds me, Mr. Krasner, that your predecessor in office used to do the same thing to me, namely stonewall.

Do not disturb: private press conference in progress 
It went on for five years. And do you know how and where it finally ended?

In 2017, when then-Philly D.A. Rufus Seth Williams went on trial in federal court for corruption, Rufus and I finally met up in the men's room. 

To my surprise, we had a friendly chat and he actually complimented me on the stories I'd written about his corruption trial.

What a swell guy! He got me to thinking that perhaps I'd misjudged him all those years when he was stonewalling me, and I was writing about what a corrupt fraud he was.

Well, not really.

Amazingly, as I was typing this story, I just found out that Rep. Bryan Cutler, the speaker of the state House of Representatives, has announced the names of a five-member select committee that's been asked to address the "skyrocketing crime rates in Philadelphia."

The group is composed of three suburban Republicans -- Rep. John Lawrence of Chester and Lancaster counties; Rep. Wendi Thomas of Bucks County; and Rep. Torren Ecker of Adams and Cumberland counties; plus two brave Democrats -- Rep. Amen Brown and Rep. Danilo Burgos, both of whom are from Philadelphia!

So Mr. Krasner, if you continue to duck me, I promise to look you up when your impeachment trial starts in Harrisburg. I'm really looking forward to covering that event.

And when you hit the men's room, I promise to save you a seat. 

In the meantime, here's looking at you, kid!


  1. Agnes is a total waste of a Police Officer. 3rd District flunkie. The Blob! Look at her! If she needs to run after someone she will fall and roll! Get out of Larrys ass! one more thing your drinking buddy Maria has no chance of being Mayor!!! She has denounced the PPD and the FOP since she joined Team Larry

  2. Good for you Mr Cipriano on keep on this horrible example of a prosecutor, Philadelphia deserves so much better, surly someone in a city known for its lawyers can come up with an honorable candidate.

  3. Uh oh, I bet you're on a list right now for the high crime of "attempted upsetting of a liberal in the 1st degree". Liberals are as usual, allergic to honest inquiry as to their plans or performance. Larry must be getting lessons from mr.30% approval rating in the white house now on how to have a ring of sycophants around him at all times.

  4. The "white savior" Krasner used his Latino and black flunkies so he would not have to explain the plague of murders affecting the Latino and black communities. They are a DISGRACE!

  5. You’re the only one with balls left in the city. Bravo.

  6. Agnes is not a cop. Please do not refer to her as a police officer. It’s an insult to real working police. She’s literally done ZERO police work her entire time on payroll. Side note… look at her..ugh. So much for fitness and agility standards. She definitely isn’t catching anyone.

    1. Your fine post here describing the "qualifications" of policeperson Agnes seem to match up perfectly with her boss, Danielle Outlaw. Two birds of a feather, stealing our money and air.

  7. The Penguin turned into Ralph the doorman protecting the Joker

  8. Amen Brown, a brave, bright as the new moon, property stealing representative from the illustrious 190th district 🥴. Corruption is a requirement for that house seat.

  9. Gonzo Journalism! Hunter Thompson would have approved. Keep up the good work...

  10. What group of public media allow private interview without hearing and following up on fellow reporters' questions. If a DA press conference is like a confessional, then each one in attendance should be sent back to school for the session of how to participate in a formal press conference. As to a police officer's power who is on leave to the DA her authority is to protect lives and property and not to stifle the democratic process of those legally entitled to ask and respond to a free speech interview by a taxpayer elected servant.

    1. As I have previously written, the failure of the media to accurately report what Krasner has done to this city, and all of the lives he has destroyed, is precisely why he hasn't been impeached yet or run out of town on a rail. So this latest stunt didn't surprise me.

  11. I am out of insults to direct at Krasner. He deserves them all. 'Coward' might be at the top of the list. None of what you witnessed and experienced is a surprise. Stay after them, Ralph, all of them. It's a lonely struggle I know but you might be one of the only people in the whole city who is willing to take on that job. Don't give up and never surrender. The citizens need you, especially the ones who are unaware of the realities of the useless DA and his office and the ugly consequences of his malfeasance in public office. Proud of you, Ralph. Fight the bastards hard.

    1. Thanks, Rick, it is getting pretty lonely out there. Let's hope the politicians in Harrisburg have the willpower to do what the politicians in Philadelphia lack the will to do, namely get rid of this corrupt district attorney who's selling his office far worse than the previous DA ever did.

  12. Nice Job - Ralph - as usual. I love the grimace on Krasner's mug when you photographed him thru the glass door. That - IMHO - was pure hate - - - so watch your back.

    Krasner was slated to speak on the "importance of public pools for community violence prevention." Another totally absurd initiative, just a way to fleece the working people in Philadelphia in Krasner's ongoing quest to keep deflecting blame.

    While community pools clearly won't work in the winter time, there might be some summertime benefit as it would be challenging to hide a weapon in one's bathing suit.

    What's next? Enclosed, heated pools for the winter months? More basketball courts? Special areas where the populace can ride their unlicensed and uninsured dirt bikes with impunity?

    This guy is a total disgrace.

    1. But every day the media lets him get away with it.

  13. Ralph your the man! Krasner and his flunkies are all frauds.

  14. Hey, Agnes no more posting pics from the beach bragging about your overtime? pics from the chest up? Looking like a beached whale! You and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot look like you go to the same tailor! LOL

  15. Keep the heat up! Please consider a law suit against that waste of time flunky cop for violating your rights as both a journalist and private citizen.


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