DA Seth Williams: “Philadelphians Have No Shortage of Opinions” [UPDATED]
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams is giving a press conference announcing that a grand jury will be convened to “investigate any and all aspects that they determine appropriate as they gather information….They may in fact issue a report.”
He also says:
“Philadelphians have no shortage of opinions on the people who should be held responsible. The role of the grand jury…is to determine if anyone in addition to Mr. Benschop should be held responsible. I know philadelphians demand action. I’ve heard voices loud and clear. Philadelphians demand action. But our office will not be a part of a rush to judgment. I ask for patience…in accordance with the law.”
One reporter asks why they’ve chosen an investigative grand jury rather than an indicting grand jury. Williams answers:
“An investigating grand jury can issue subpoenas, bring witnesses in, demand documents,
revue protocol” — it can do all things systemically, reflect on information and digest it. The drawback to an indicting grand jury, he says, is that it allows those things but skips the preliminary hearing so it’s less contemplative.
Another reporter asks if Mr. Benschop is the fall guy. A city rep answers, “Toxicology showed he was under the influence and too impaired to safely operate the crane.” She also says there was evidence that shows he didn’t operate it correctly.
His being charged, she says, “doesn’t mean that other people weren’t responsible as well. We just don’t have that evidence at this point.”