Thursday, September 29, 2022

Live Blogging At The Larry Krasner Impeachment Hearings

By Ralph Cipriano

We're here live at the Larry Krasner impeachment hearings.

And who do you think is supposedly planning to show up as a surprise guest?

You guessed it, the camera-hogging D.A. himself. 

Krasner supposedly has scheduled a rally across the street from the Penn State building on 12th Street where the impeachment hearings will be held today and tomorrow, beginning at 10 a.m. today.

According to the cops, Krasner has asked for, and will receive, police protection when he takes the bullhorn and presumably starts rallying the troops against MAGA Republicans, Donald Trump, and the state Legislature, etc., all of whom are surely out to get him.

Krasner's usual plan is to blame everybody but himself for the historic gun violence in Philadelphia that's already topped 400 murders this year, plus more than 1,400 shootings and more than 1,000 carjackings.

9:17 a.m.

Reporters are filing into the hearing room. This place is loaded with cops, inside and out. Krasner's rally will supposedly begin at 9:30 a.m. 

The D.A. took quite a beating yesterday. It began on Fox 29's Good Day Philadelphia when the usually genial host Mike Jerrick asked Krasner if he was thinking about resigning because his grand social experiment of emptying the jails isn't working out so well for the citizens of Philadelphia.

"It's working, it's working," Krasner insisted.

Jerrick then rattled off the body count, more than 1,000 murders to date in 2020 and 2021, and suggested that the frequently delusional Krasner had lost touch with reality.

On camera, Krasner cycled through his usual talking points, cooking up his own crime stats, and making apples to oranges comparisons of Philadelphia's jail sentences for gun crimes with bucolic places such as Lancaster County. And, of course, Krasner was railing against MAGA Republicans, whom he insists are behind the plot to impeach him.

Then, at a joint press conference on the mass shooting outside Roxborough High, with clueless Mayor Kenney and the police brass, Krasner seemed taken aback and for a change, publicity shy. He was the first public official to bolt the press conference, signaling that he'd had enough of the media for one day.

Kenney, of course was his usual self, blaming the state legislature for the proliferation of guns in the city he has presided over for the past seven years.

There's two things that Kenney could do, starting yesterday, to save lives in Philadelphia.

No. 1, he could fire his completely incompetent and totally in over-her-head police commissioner Danielle Outlaw, known fondly among her troops as MIA, as in Missing In Action. 

I asked Kenney yesterday where Outlaw was. He didn't want to answer the question. But when Walt Perez, the 6ABC anchor and general assignment reporter, asked him the same question, Kenney said Outlaw's absence from the press conference was for "personal" reasons.

When I asked Kenney if he was considering replacing Outlaw, he looked at me directly and gave me a one-word answer: "No."

Why mess with success, right?

An indignant Tumar Alexander, the city's managing director, subsequently took the mike and explained that the PC was sick. And then he added, as some sort of rebuke to myself and Perez, "Isn't she allowed to be sick?"

Both Perez and I were immediately overcome with guilt pangs. 

The second thing Kenney could do to save lives is to stand up in his bully pulpit and rail against Krasner on a daily basis for not enforcing the law. But Kenney, who has told people I know that he hates Krasner, is too much of a gutless coward to do that.

So Mayor McBarStool, as he is known, remains a complete bloated failure as the leader of our city, which remains in crisis.

9:42 a.m.

I just ventured outside the building to attend the big Krasner rally.

What a disappointment. There's some 30 to 40 activist types gathered across the street wearing T-shirts that say "Count Every Vote" and "Unite."

But no Kras!

"He's gonna stay hiding in his bunker," one cop suggested.

I replied that our PC was probably doing the same thing. But other cops suggested she was either vacationing in Europe or job-hunting out in California.

We're ten minutes away from the start of the impeachment hearing and there's still plenty of seats here at 4960 S. 12th Street.

10 a.m.

The hearing just began right on time.

State Rep. John Lawrence, the chairman of the houses select committee, is telling us that anybody who expects to hear "slanderous mud" tossed at the Philly D.A. will be disappointed.

"We will not be baited," he said, into the turning the hearings into a "pure political circus."

State Rep. Amen Brown has the floor.

"I'm here to represent the crime victims of Philadelphia," he said. Brown just related how he himself was shot in the back at age 14 by a repeat offender. And what it was like to see his own blood on the pavement and hearing his mother say, "Please save my baby."

He's talking about his own time in prison. Being one of six children. His mother a drug addict who didn't pay the bills. Living in a house with no heat. And rising out of poverty to become a self-made entrepreneur. 

Now he's talking about a 100 year-old grandmother, who, because of the violence in her neighborhood and the drug dealers who live there, told Brown that for the past two years, she hasn't been able to sit out on her front porch.

"This is why I'm here today," Rep. Brown said.

10:20 a.m.

Ms. A, a resident of South Philadelphia, is the first witness. State Rep. Wendy Thomas is reading her testimony into the record.

Ms. A moved to Philly in 2018. In March of 2020, she was outside working out with friends when she got caught in a crossfire between gang members.

"I was hit with one of the bullets and shot in my chest," she said. 

She was in the hospital for a week.

"The entire shooting, which happened in broad daylight, was caught on camera," she said. But no arrests were made, and the D.A.'s office did nothing to investigate the crime against her.

Her car has been broken into numerous times, and she's had enough of the crime here.

"I intend on leaving Philadelphia because I no longer feel safe here," she said.

10:25 a.m.

Karen McConnell is testifying on video about how her granddaughter, Jailene Holton, 21, was shot in the head and killed by Anthony Nelson. He's a guy who was expressing his anger over the unavailability of a pool table by shooting his gun off outside a bar.

Before he was accused of murder, Nelson was accused of rape. If he had been convicted in what looked like a slam dunk rape case, McConnell said, her granddaughter would still be alive.

But Krasner's poorly trained and inexperienced prosecutors have no idea what they're doing. So Nelson beat the rap in a case where the prosecution had some 90 incriminating texts as evidence against him.

"The Krasner office has failed us," McConnell said. "They're not doing their job."

Criminals are treated with "white gloves," she complained. While innocent people like her granddaughter pay the price for crime.

Jailene had a tough life, her grandmother said. She lost her mother when she was two years old. She was just coming into her own when she was murdered. 

10:32 a.m.

Tiffany Flynn is testifying on video about her 19 year old daughter who was murdered last year in a grocery store parking lot in Olney.

"My daughter was shot three times, one time in the head," Flynn said. A video of the crime went viral.

The killers were three young men, she said. She thought she had an ID on one of the killers, and gave it to the cops. But a year later, she said, the cops have done nothing to solve the crime.

"I live less than five blocks away from where my daughter was murdered," she said. And criminals are getting bolder, she complained. They feel they can get away with anything.

10:38 a.m.

Malikah and Robert Womack are talking on video about the death of their daughter, who was stabbed to death by another woman. The parents rushed to the hospital when they got the bad news.

"She just had all these tubes in her," her mother said. A nurse told the mom, "I tried to wake her up but she wouldn't wake up."

Malikah talks about how she was kissing her daughter, who had two strokes while on life support. Doctors tried to save her life with brain surgery, but she didn't make it.

"I just dropped to the floor," she recalled when she got the news that her daughter was gone. "I was like dead weight."

"That was just the worst time of my life," Malikah said. But the detective on the case never got back to her. 

"I don't know what happened to my child," she said. 

The accused killer was in jail for a year. At the preliminary hearing, a witness didn't show.

A defense lawyer protested that the accused killer needed to go home to take care of her baby. But she also had an open gun case.

"They had no remorse for my side of the family," Malikah said. "Nothing."

When the accused killer was set free, nobody told Malikah about it.

"No one from the district attorney's office, even the ADA, didn't tell me," she said.

When the accused killer assaulted another person, Malikah called the ADA in charge of her daughter's case.

"How did this suspect obtain bail twice," she asked. She assaulted two people, killing one of them, and she's at home, Malikah asked again. How is that possible?

As a young woman, Malikah said, she didn't care for former D.A. Lynne Abraham.

Now, she said, she understood that Abraham "was keeping criminals off the street. And I felt like Krasner, he's being lenient. Why's nobody in the city of Philadelphia reaching out to us mothers?"

"How can a murderer be out on the street?" she asked. "Why doesn't anybody care. Why doesn't anybody want to meet with us. Why is this going on?"

10:53 a.m.

Jennifer Meleski is talking on video about the murder of her son, Chuckie, who fell asleep in his car on Madison Street, and was shot to death by two killers.

It took homicide two days to get on the case, Jennifer said. The detectives were slow to go get surveillance video and talk to a witness who saw the whole thing.

His killers are still at large. And Jennifer can't believe how young kids are behaving these days in her neighborhood.

"They're seeing older kids walking around with guns," she said. Meanwhile, drug addicts are openly getting high in Kensington. And drug dealers are openly selling.

Kensington, she said, is drawing addicts from all over the state. 

Since she lost her son, she told the committee, "I'm not the same."

11:02 a.m.

Nakisha Billa, the only crime victim to testify in person today, is the mother of Dominic Billa, 21, a murder victim who was shot to death at a shopping mall in Northeast Philadelphia.

"A mother's worst nightmare," she said. 

At the time, Dominic was looking for a job. Nakisha is the first witness at this hearing to testify live.

On March 29, 2021, "Dominic left home, never to return," she said.

On the last day she saw him, she said, she keeps asking herself, "Did I kiss him. Did I hug him? Did I tell him that I love him?"

She did all of those things, but it brings her little comfort.

"The grief is unbearable," she said.

Now she's talking about witnesses who don't show up in court.

"People don't testify because they're fearful," she said.

Meanwhile, outside we're hearing a pro-Krasner rally getting noisy.

Back in the hearing room, Nakisha stated how she was an early supporter of Larry Krasner, thinking he would bring some long-sought justice to the black community.

But now she compares the constant release of accused criminals by the D.A.'s office to "the scoreboard at a basketball game."

The man who killed her son should have been in jail, she said. But the D.A.'s office isn't so good at prosecuting crime.

"I'm here because of the lawlessness that plagues this city," she said.

"There is no accountability," she said. Especially in the prosecution of her son's murderer.

"And Mr. Krasner knows this personally," she said. 

Her son was a good athlete who finished first out his class in the Broad Street Run. He was also a good singer who won a lead role in a production of The Lion King. 

And he had a big heart. His mother recalled how Dominic gave a friend who was an orphan a pair of brand new sneakers that Dominic's mother had just bought for him.

She's now calling out the names of young victims of gun violence.

The list is too long and now she's talking about her son.

"Rest In Peace, Dominic," she said.

"The D.A. has contributed to the rise of gun violence over these years because of his policies," she said.  

His progressive policies, she said, "should not be at the expense of human life."

Chairman Lawerence asked about her future plans

"I want out. I want out of the city of Philadelphia," she said. Even though she's lived here all her life.

"I don't feel safe," she said. "I live in fear every day. Because I have other children that I worry about."

"I can't hold him hostage," she says when her other son asked her if he could go out with his friends.

When she gets up early every morning to go to work, she says, she has to look all over the place to make sure that somebody's not out there waiting to carjack her.

"I want out," she repeated.

Chairman Lawrence is asking her what she would say to elected officials about what needs to change here in Philadelphia.

Nakisha says she's tired of all the buckpassing that goes on at City Hall and the police department. And she says she'd really like to see "repeat criminals" dealt with.

Rep. Brown has the floor. 

He's asking the witness if we can simultaneously reform the criminal justice system as well as "hold criminals accountable."

Yes, she said.

Brown asked if that's what we have now in Philadelphia.

"No," she said.

Brown is asking her if she feels we have "A crisis in lawlessness."

"Yes," she said.

The committee is going to recess until 12:15 p.m.

State Rep. Martina White is being interviewed by a media throng about the plight of crime victims.

"Larry Krasner has denied these victims a voice," she said. "He's tipped the scales of justice in favor of the criminals."

She's pointing out how some two-thirds of the criminals cases allegedly "prosecuted" by Krasner's office last year ended up being withdrawn or dismissed.

Jeff Cole of Fox 29 is asking if White thinks Krasner should be impeached.

"I absolutely believe he needs to be impeached," she said.

12:10 p.m.

While the house select committee is on break, the pro-Krasner rally, still minus the Kras, is still going on across the street.

Cops are telling me that the protesters are getting paid to be there.

At least they brought some good music.

Snacktime Philly, featuring a saxophonist who would make Grover Washington proud, is playing Marvin Gaye's What's Goin' On and Bob Marley's Get Up Stand Up.

12:15 p.m.

The last scheduled witness of the day is Bruce Antkowiah, a legal scholar who is professor and counsel to Saint Vincent College. He was asked by the house select committee to look into state Supreme Court Justice Kevin Dougherty's blistering criticism of Krasner's indictment of Ryan Pownall, a former police officer, for murder.

According to Dougherty, Krasner abused the grand jury process by purposely withholding from the grand jury relevant case law that would have justified the police officer's use of deadly force. 

Dougherty also charged that the grand jury produced a tainted grand jury presentment that Krasner fed to the media, so they would tar and feather Pownall before he went on trial in November.

Antkowiah, however, is telling the house select committee that in Pennsylvania, Krasner has wide prosecutorial discretion to present a case to a grand jury, And that ultimately, the "final word" on Krasner's performance in office will be made by voters.

Now the prof is being asked a bunch of questions about how grand juries function in Philadelphia and it's pretty boring. I'm tempted to go back out on the streets with the Krasner fans and hear more music from Snacktime Philly.

Uh oh. Now the professor is saying that the grand jury should have been instructed by the D.A.'s office on any adverse case law in the Pownall case. In other words, the D.A.'s office was obligated to present to the Pownall grand jury the relevant case law regarding justifiable use of force by a police officer.

What the rather dull prof seems to be saying is that Larry Krasner wasn't playing fair when he purposely kept the grand jury ignorant of adverse case law in the Pownall case.

Imagine that, Larry Krasner putting his fat thumb on the scales of justice to indict a cop for murder.

The Pownall case, the prof says, deserves further scrutiny. 

Now, they're discussing the defendant's right in the Pownall case to have a preliminary hearing, and confront the evidence against him.

In the Pownall case, the D.A.'s office successfully talked a judge out of holding a preliminary hearing.

Another slick move by Lyin' Larry K to nail a cop.

The prof says in retrospect, the judge's decision to deny defendant Pownall a preliminary hearing seems problematic.

"That's a decision that would have to be reexamined," the prof says.

And so shortly after 1 p.m. today, we are done with today's witnesses. The hearings will resume at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

After the hearing, I got a chance to ask Chairman Lawerence about the rumors that D.A. Krasner sought to be present at today's hearing.

Lawrence gave me a pointed reply that it was the committee who decided what witnesses to call. And if the committee wanted the D.A. here, they would bring him in.

As I was leaving, I was hoping to talk to the Krasner protesters outside, to find out if they were getting paid to be there.

But apparently their shift was over, and they were all gone.


  1. RC Thanks for doing this! Greatly appreciated. Please be careful.

  2. The victims are all black.
    Where's BLM?

    1. I'm guessing they're the protesters outside. Paid for by Krasner/Soros funds.

    2. BLM doesn't give a damn about black on black crime!

  3. Krasner is creating a safe haven for every drug dealer, every pimp, and every carjacker in the tri-state area. His misconduct threatens the safety and security of the entire region, not just the city of Philadelphia. It's time to end the lawlessness.

  4. was Billa married to one of Larry's Detectives? Is that a conflict? Hello AG Office were you notified of this case or Larry's drug addict Sg.t Tom daughter who got pinched for Zanax? HMMMMMMMM

  5. What about, what we now know to be, the factious sex abuse of Daniel Gallagher (Billy Doe) that continues to play out in the courts with the upcoming William Lynn trial? This is a ten year travesty that should have never left the starting gate. Hope something is said about that during these hearings as well.

    As always, thanks for the GREAT work Ralph. Keep it going and WATCH YOUR BACK!!!

  6. Hey Larry what happened to all of those chartered buses you promised with hundreds of supporters? U even failed to show you pussy! Holed up in your office with your law department cronies watching? No worries Movita the convicted felon had your back! Yes victims from the black community actually bashed u!! Fraud!!


  8. I doubt it will happen, but I would like to hear from Linda Schellenger about her son’s murder and the travesty that was the outcome.

  9. Great work again, Ralph. I'll echo the commenters above, "Watch your back". Your enemies are powerful and ruthless. Please be careful. Good Luck ! Fight for the people in Philly. They need you !


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