Saturday, September 3, 2022

The P.C., The President & The Fine Art Of Politicking

By Ralph Cipriano

On Tuesday, President Biden gave a speech  at Wilkes University to tout his "Safer America Plan" that would put some 100,000 new cops out on the street.

Among the president's invited guests was Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw.

While Outlaw was welcome at the president's sparsely-attended speech in a college gymnasium, the P.C.'s  9 mm Glock 17 Luger pistol wasn't. The president's staff wanted the TV cameras to show lots of cops in uniform literally standing behind the president. But the Secret Service wanted to ensure the president's safety.

So before all those cops could take a seat in the stands and applaud the "Big Guy" and his Safer America Plan, the Secret Service required all those cops who were spectators, including Outlaw and two of her aides, to voluntarily turn over their guns.

Some cops and reporters questioned why Outlaw would drive two hours north to attend Biden's speech when he was due to appear in Philadelphia two days later. There's also the matter of both a mayoral directive as well as a police department directive that prohibit Philly cops from doing any politicking on the job that would involve promoting one political candidate over another.

But a spokesperson for Outlaw said that the event in Wilkes Barre wasn't about politics, it was about a sitting president advocating a plan to fund more cops on the street. And that's why Outlaw was there, to support that plan.

"Police Commissioner Outlaw was invited by the White House to attend a speech by President Biden announcing funding in support of law enforcement; particularly federal funding to hire, train, and retain an additional 100,000 police officers across the United States," explained Sgt. Eric Gripp in an email.

"P.C. Outlaw has remained a vocal supporter of the need to bolster our department’s ranks with additional police officers since her arrival in Philadelphia, and welcomes the opportunity for PPD to receive federal funds that would put more officers on the streets of our city," said Gripp, who also attended the event in Wilkes-Barre along with Corporal Jasmine Reilly, another Outlaw spokesperson.

The Wilkes-Barre speech was originally planned last month, but had to be postponed after Biden came down with Covid.

Gripp did confirm that before Outlaw and her two aides were allowed to sit in the stands some 50 feet behind the president, they had to agree to voluntarily turn over their guns, as well as their cellphones.

"The Secret Service did not allow PPD Officers in attendance at the event to be in possession of their firearms," Gripp wrote. 

Sgt. Gripp, however, bristled at suggestions that in driving to Wilkes Barre to hear Biden's speech, Police Commissioner Outlaw was engaging in politicking. 

"Commissioner Outlaw was not on hand to 'rally' or otherwise 'take a stand' " on behalf of a political candidate, Gripp wrote.

"As an appointed public official, the Police Commissioner both works with and regularly attends public/press events in support of initiatives/programs along with other state, local, and federal elected/appointed officials," Gripp wrote.

The rally at Wilkes University was attended by Gov. Tom Wolf, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, and U.S. Senator Bob Casey.

"Public support for initiatives proposed by elected or appointed officials -- made in the official capacity of his or her office -- does not equal support and/or endorsement for the individual holding the office," Gripp wrote. 

At Wilkes Barre, the president did tout his Safer America Plan that he said will spend $350 billion to hire more cops to "make communities safer."

"Here in Pennsylvania, Governor Wolf is using $250 million of that money to reduce crime and violence across the state," the president said.

But during his speech, Biden did some politicking on behalf of Democrats running for office in Pennsylvania. 

Biden hailed Josh Shapiro as a "champion for the rule of law as your Attorney General, and he’s going to make one hell of a governor."

Biden described Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman as a "hell of a guy" and "a powerful voice for working people" who’s "going to make a great United States senator."

During his speech, Biden also took the opportunity to rip "every Republican in the Senate, every single one" who "flat-out" voted against his Safer America Plan.

The president also threw some shade on his "MAGA Republican friends in Congress" who claim they're for law and order.

“You can’t be pro-law enforcement and pro-insurrection,” Biden said.

In an interview with the Pennsylvania Capital-Star, Outlaw spoke in favor of Biden's plan, saying it was a step in the right direction. She told the newspaper that she was happy with the president's  “overall recognition that public safety is an ecosystem." Because cops, she said, have to work alongside social service providers, among others, to ensure public safety.

Gripp, a registered Republican, admitted he had some uncomfortable moments while sitting through Biden's speech. He said he wanted to make sure he was seen clapping in support of the president's Safer America Plan. But he also wanted make sure that he was not seen clapping when Biden was trashing Republicans.

It was also strange to be in uniform, Gripp said, and not have your gun or your cell phone. But every time Gripp patted one of his empty pockets, he noticed a Secret Service agent glaring at him.

When it comes to politicking, Biden, of course, outdid himself two days after his Wilkes-Bare speech when he traveled to Philadelphia. The theme of his speech was the continuing battle over "The Soul Of The Nation," but it gave Biden a chance to launch a full-blown attack on a certain former president and his loyal supporters.

"Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic," Biden stated.

"MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards," Biden said. "Backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love."

"They promote authoritarian leaders, and they fan the flames of political violence that are a threat to our personal rights, to the pursuit of justice, to the rule of law, to the very soul of this country," Biden said.

It was enough to make a Republican squirm.
"That was 100 percent a political rally," Sgt. Gripp agreed. So that's why when Biden came to Philadelphia to give that speech, Gripp said, the police commissioner skipped the event.

So Outlaw didn't want to be perceived as politicking on behalf of a president when he was blatantly politicking. 

But the day before, on Wednesday, some cops and reporters wondered again why Outlaw was out in Southwest Philadelphia with City Council member Kenyatta Johnson participating in a "Peace Not Guns Safety Walk" organized by Johnson.

The event took place on the 6400 and 6500 blocks of Kingsessing Street. Outlaw, Capt. Joseph Green, the commander of the 12th Police District, and some community leaders went door to door to listen to the concerns of neighbors who claimed they felt like prisoners in their own homes.

They have good reason to feel that way. As of last night, the Philly murder toll stood at 364 dead bodies, a 2% increase over last year's historic pace when the city racked up 562 murders.

With all those bullets flying, "I think it's important for folks to see us," Outlaw told CBS Philly.

But during the walk, Council member Johnson was seen carrying fliers. Johnson also has the distinction of being the only City Council member under criminal indictment.

Johnson, his wife and two co-defendants are scheduled to be retried on federal bribery charges this fall. When he went on trial the first time, in April, U.S. District Judge Gerald A. McHugh had to declare a mistrial after the jury announced it was hopelessly deadlocked.

When asked about Council member Johnson and his fliers, Sgt. Gripp said, "It comes down to this is what politicians do." 

 "The line between politicking and action in the official capacity of their office is muddy," Sgt. Gripp conceded. "Just being out there with them doesn't necessary mean we support everything that candidate supports."


  1. Of course all guns were secured! Oligarchs invested a great deal of time, money, resources in dragging the confused, addled, and corrupt Joe Biden into the White House. No small feat!
    Oligarchs will leave nothing to chance. Until they've groomed another corrupt, deceitful incompetent who will do their bidding. I think they are working on brain washing Harris. We've seen nothing of her. She is "at camp." Probably being fitted with a microchip.

  2. When will Outlaw and Kenney come clean what happened with the gassing of peaceful protesters on I-95? Victims' voices are being silenced. When will The Kenney Administration stop lying? Maybe the FBI can raid Kennye's home and obtain evidence.

    1. There was nothing wrong with tear gassing peaceful protestors as they entered Vine Street expressway with the intent to risk their lives to disrupt and paralyze traffic. That SWAT Officer arrested by Krasner was doing what he was supposed to do by both Kenny and Outlaw. Krasner is the one insisting on trying the SWAT Officer and Outlaw is the one who threw him under a bus. Both cretins are unfit to govern the city and PPD!

  3. Question begging to be answered is that in the Trump Administration, did Secret Service agents request police officers to divest themselves of Glocks before sitting to hear the President speak? If not, then we can conclude that Biden or Kamala Harris requested that police divest themselves of their weapons in order to humanize the disarmed police officers when they realize they were separated from their weapons. I wouldn't be surprised to see the heartbeats of police officers zooming while waiting for this charade to end.

    Maybe it would be better to let cops watch the show on TV in the station.

    And we can see a long line of blue suits lining up to be reunited with their Glocks and phones. This wastes time and makes their travel home a much longer trip.

    1. It’s very doubtful that the President and VP would get into that level of planning. I suspect this is a directive of Secret Service.

  4. Memo to biden: No one wants to be a cop where a DA like larry krasner indicts them for doing their already difficult job and lets out all the drug dealers and other crooks free time and time again. Blindly throwing money at the problem in typical democrat fashion does nothing.

  5. A Wawa on 19th Street across from Liberty tall building was looted by minorities and white school kids. Police made numerous arrests.

    Question begging to be answered is did Krasner detain any of them or let them go home without any charges filed.

  6. Biden nominated for a federal seat..a corrupt Philly judge… who oversaw an officers court proceedings and knowingly allowed unlawful jury instruction to be given causing unconstitutional charges to follow. Then she blocked the transcripts from being seen because she knows it expose her. She’s a real turd.


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