A fellow I worked with got a luke-warm endorsement for a man running to be the next district attorney of Philadelphia and I believe it will go a long way in ensuring justice is served in my old home town.
I was clearing myself of toxins in the sauna at the LA Fitness gym in Roxborough when I casually mentioned the race won by Larry Krasner, a former civil rights lawyer with whom I worked with and called a friend when representing poor defendants accused of crimes.
Larry was always a straight shooter and straight as an arrow fighting for the rights of all. He became a civil rights lawyer before I left the Defender Association of Philadelphia and I last saw him at a party he held in his residence not far from the Philadelphia Police station near 8th and Race streets called the “Roundhouse.”
Larry’s wife became a judge in Philadelphia’s Common Pleas Court but was assigned to Family court after members of the Philadelphia FOP (Fraternal Order of Police) shut down the room when they continued case after case to prevent her from doing her duty. It seems that she treated the word of a civilian the same as a police officer. Several police officers resented that and did a form of “forum shopping.” to get a different judge.
“I have no problem with him” my fellow LA Fitness exerciser said to me when I mentioned Larry’s election win in the primary yesterday. I call it a “luke-warm” endorsement because the sauna was hot and I heard not one discouraging word from the young man.
It was a huge endorsement in my book. You see, the young man is a police officer in the 22nd district of North Philadelphia, my old neighborhood covering parts of Brewerytown. I believe he shared the view of many police and would work with the Krasner administration very well.
I also told him of a list lawyers at the public defender’s office kept of a small group of police who had difficulty with the truth. The list was entitled “Ethically-Challenged” Police and I used it every now and again when something someone said just didn’t have the ring of truth.
Many of the fellows I grew up with in Brewerytown became Philly cops. I bumped into them while serving as a defense attorney. None were on the list. And I believe they would work with Larry Krasner to help put away the real bad guys while ensuring those with drug and alcohol problems get the help they needed.
Philadelphia is going to need someone like Larry Krasner, particularly with the new order of the Attorney General of the United States urging law enforcement officials to charge the highest crimes they can over the next four years.
I’m glad Philadelphia prosecutors and police will have a chance to seek a better form of justice for all.