Both the Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives of Pennsylvania announced a brand new committee this past week that was devoted to looking into the rising crime rate across Philadelphia, hinting at the recommended impeachment of District Attorney Larry Krasner (D-PA).
Made up of three Republicans and a pair of Democrats to represent Philadelphia, the “Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order” was established via the adoption of House Resolution 216. This piece of legislation would force lawmakers to look into the violent crime rates and the express use of funds to prosecute offenders, make determinations about Krasner’s performance, and suggest “removal from office or other appropriate discipline, including impeachment.”
“This bipartisan group of lawmakers understands that what residents and visitors of Philadelphia are currently experiencing must change,” stated House Speaker Bryan Cutler (R-PA) via a release. “I am confident these members will work together to find solutions and hold those in power accountable for allowing crime in Philadelphia to reach the levels they have today.”
In the wake of taking over the position in 2018, Krasner made it a priority to issue a bevy of sweeping progressive changes to the criminal justice system. These included more lax bail policies and reduced prosecutions for various crimes, all of which sparked a mass exodus of attorneys from his office.
With a total of 562 homicides, the city known for brotherly love has been forced to deal with its highest level of homicides in 2021. This most recent rate increase started back in 2020, as reported by data from the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD). Yet Krasner has, on multiple occasions, outright denied that violence is a recurring and growing issue across the city.
“We don’t have a crisis of lawlessness, we don’t have a crisis of crime, we don’t have a crisis of violence,” he claimed via a press conference this past year. “It’s important that we don’t let this become mushy and bleed into the notion that there is some kind of big spike in crime.”
News reports about this increased rate of violent crime have repeatedly made their way onto the national news scene. Just last month, three people were killed and 11 wounded in the wake of a mass shooting that involved multiple gunmen throughout an area of Philadelphia heavily laden with bars and restaurants. “The events that transpired last evening on South Street are beyond devastating,” explained Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D-PA) in the wake of it happening. “Once again, we see lives senselessly lost and those injured in yet another horrendous, brazen and despicable act of gun violence.”
As another example, a group of seven kids severely beat an elderly man with a traffic cone, resulting in his death. “The teens struck the victim several times with objects, knocking the victim to the ground causing injuries to his head,” reported PPD at the time. “The victim was transported to the hospital where he died of his injuries the following day.”