Meet the D.A. Candidate Who’s Defended Black Lives Matter and Occupy in Court

Larry Krasner 2

Larry Krasner | Photo courtesy of Krasner campaign

When Larry Krasner kicked off his campaign for district attorney in downtown Philadelphia in early February, more than a dozen political activists stood behind him. There were Black Lives Matter leaders, Occupy Philly alumni, and Arch Street United Methodist Church pastors, among others, almost all of whom Krasner has defended in court. “My biggest accomplishment has been to represent individuals,” he says, “as they faced the Goliath that government can be in order to make sure that they got fair trials and that their constitutional rights were preserved.”

In addition to working as a civil-rights attorney, Krasner has served as a city and federal public defender. A few years ago, he famously accused several narcotics officers of misconduct, and D.A. Seth Williams announced afterward that he would no longer call those cops as witnesses. If elected D.A., Krasner promises never to seek the death penalty, to work to eliminate cash bail, and to take other actions aimed at lowering the city’s sky-high incarceration rate. Read more »

OPINION: Crowded District Attorney Race Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

District Attorney Seth Williams | Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

District Attorney Seth Williams | Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

There is an adage that goes: “To speak without thinking is to shoot without aiming.”

Someone should have told that to former federal prosecutor Joe Khan during a event featuring district attorney candidates at Philly for Change on South Street earlier this month. I was there to get a personal glimpse at three-fifths of the field that was at that point running against Seth Williams for the role of top prosecutor. In attendance were former city managing director Richard Negrin, former Municipal Court judge Teresa Carr Deni, and Khan. (Not present were Democrat Michael Untermeyer and Republican Beth Grossman, and the event was held before civil rights attorney Larry Krasner threw his hat in.) Read more »

Did Seth Williams’s Top Assistant Resign to Run for D.A.?

Seth:Tariq

Tariq Karim El-Shabazz, a longtime defense attorney who became District Attorney Seth Williams’s first assistant district attorney late last summer, resigned on Monday. But it’s what could come next that has people talking: El-Shabazz may be running for the office himself.

Since Williams announced late last week that he would not seek reelection, El-Shabazz has been rumored as a possible candidate for D.A. City & State reported over the weekend that El-Shabazz was considering declaring for the race as early as this week. Read more »

The FOP Has Put Up Anti–Seth Williams Billboards

John McNesby and Seth Williams. | Photos by AP

John McNesby and Seth Williams. | Photos by AP

Telling the Inquirer his union was willing to spend an “unlimited amount of resources” in the Democratic primary against Seth Williams, FOP Lodge 5 head John McNesby has begun a campaign against the incumbent district attorney.

Yesterday, a billboard showed up on I-95 between Bridge Street and Cottman Avenue: “HELP WANTED: NEW PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY,” it read. “PLEASE CONTACT FOP LODGE #5.” McNesby says the FOP will put up at least six billboards calling for Williams’s ouster. Read more »

Seth Williams Hit With Largest Ethics Fine in City History

Seth Williams / judgment against Seth

District Attorney Seth Williams will pay $62,000 in penalties after agreeing to a settlement with Philadelphia’s Ethics Board. The board announced the settlement in a release earlier today.

The fine is the largest in the 10-year history of Philadelphia’s Ethics Board. Per the settlement agreement, Williams admitted his failure to disclose five sources of income and 89 gifts on the City Statements of Financial Interests he filed between 2010 and 2015. An amended statement Williams filed last August did not disclose 10 additional gifts.

Just under $3,000 in gifts were officially “prohibited.” The City Ethics Code prohibits officials from accepting monetary gifts or non-monetary gifts worth $100 or more “from a person who (1) is seeking official action from that officer or (2) has a financial interest at the time, or in close proximity to the time, the gift is received that the officer is able to substantially affect through official action.” Read more »

Philly’s Public Defender: George Soros’s Associates Wanted Me to Run for D.A.

L: Keir Bradford-Grey R: George Soros (Courtesy of

L: Keir Bradford-Grey (Courtesy of the Defender Association) R: George Soros (Courtesy of GeorgeSoros.com)

Why would an up-and-coming progressive turn down billionaire George Soros?

That’s the question some Philadelphia Democrats are now asking, after chief public defender Keir Bradford-Grey told her employees last week that she would not run for district attorney in the upcoming Democratic primary. “This is the biggest D.A.’s race in the country,” said one incredulous political insider following the announcement. “Once you have [Soros’s backing], you can go on to be the U.S. attorney, to be the president!”  Read more »

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