The day after Thanksgiving, Philadelphia recorded its 501st homicide this year, setting a new record for a calendar year. With several weeks left in 2021, the city currently has logged over 520 murders. Nevertheless, Philadelphia district attorney Larry Krasner testily responded to a reporter’s question last week about safety in the City of Brotherly Love by claiming, “We don’t have a crisis of crime.”
In Philadelphia, Krasner’s remarks—“There is not a big spike in violent crime,” he continued—usually would go unchallenged by the mainstream media. But former mayor Michael Nutter had heard enough. Under Nutter, who served as mayor from 2008 to 2016, Philadelphia had pushed homicides down as low as 246 murders per year—half of the current total under Krasner and current mayor Jim Kenney. Nutter was known as a low-key wonk, not charismatic, but competent and incorruptible. In response to Krasner’s denialism, Nutter fired back with a brutal op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“It takes a certain audacity of ignorance and white privilege,” Nutter wrote, for Krasner to claim that Philadelphia does not have a crisis of violence. “Krasner portrays himself as the Great White Hope for Philadelphia’s Black and brown communities,” he continued. “But if he actually cared about us, he’d understand that the homicide crisis is what is plaguing us the most.” Nutter criticized Krasner’s “white wokeness,” urged Krasner to apologize to the victims’ families, and called on the district attorney to resign.
That black and Hispanic citizens are the main victims of the homicide plague is the worst-kept secret in America. That violence and disorder are surging in cities overseen by “progressive prosecutors” such as Krasner is starting to be understood, too.
But Krasner’s movement is increasingly disconnected from these realities. Just witness the statements of his fellow travelers. Los Angeles district attorney George Gascón has overseen a spike in everything from violent crime to shoplifting; recently, a criminal out on parole gunned down an 81-year old philanthropist in her Beverly Hills home. Kim Foxx, another progressive compatriot, presides as district attorney over blood-drenched Chicago, with over 1,000 murders in Cook County so far this year. While Krasner was claiming that Philadelphia is an oasis of calm, Gascón held a press conference to tout the “successes” of his regime—and Foxx flew out to support him.
In expressing commonsense opposition to ruinous policies, Nutter is speaking out in defense of his former constituents—especially the residents of Philadelphia’s poorest sections, who have borne the brunt of the mayhem. The question is whether woke upper-class urbanites and the distant suburbs will begin to understand the wreckage that radical prosecutors have brought to American cities.
Photos: Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images (left) / Mark Makela/Getty Images (right)