HARRISBURG—In an emotional press conference at the Capitol, victims of Philadelphia’s rising murder and crime rates gathered to share their stories with legislators who are assembling Articles of Impeachment against Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.
“Violence and lawlessness are plaguing Philadelphia and victims of crime continue to suffer without justice,” said Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia). “Innocent children avoid going outside to play for fear of being shot. Vulnerable senior citizens fear traveling to the local pharmacy for fear they will be robbed. Mothers and fathers are constantly looking over their shoulder to prevent getting carjacked as they head off to work or fuel up at the gas station.”
White joined colleagues Reps. Torren Ecker (R-Adams/Cumberland), Josh Kail (R-Beaver/Washington) and Tim O’Neal (R-Washington) at a press conference where the mothers, fathers and children of murder victims spoke about the pain of their loss and the outrage at learning the offenders were repeat offenders who, they argued, should not have been on the streets.
“My mother served the city and the people of Philadelphia for 18 years,” said Julio Moran Jr. “She served with dignity, with faith, with pride for her work, with the utmost respect for others. She deserved the same treatment from the DA’s office when she was in need. But what she received was the direct opposite.”
Moran’s mother, Gladys Coriano, was murdered after she filed an emergency protection from abuse order against her assailant, who walked free even after violating the order and with a warrant for his arrest. “The district attorney’s office failed to do its job,” Moran said. “My mother didn’t fall through the cracks of the criminal justice system; she fell through a trapdoor created by Krasner and his group of false public servants.”
“The man who murdered my son has a rap sheet that is long,” said Nakisha Billa, whose son Domonic was murdered by a violent felon at a mall while shopping for work clothes.
“I once supported Krasner,” Billa said. “But never would I have supported him if I knew people would be offered deals for aiding in murder, for taking someone’s life. Domonic deserved much more than that. I deserve much more than that. If only the job had been done correctly, he would not have been out on the street and Domonic would be here.”
Also testifying were John Toomey, whose son Sean was murdered unloading his car in a carjacking attempt, and business owner Sukhvir Thind.
“What I am witnessing is gun violence and retail theft at all-time highs because there is no accountability,” Thind said. “The criminals know that DA is not going to prosecute. My employees are afraid to come to work.”
“The DA is culpable,” Toomey said. “It is not his responsibility to act as a defense attorney for those in jail.”
“Living in fear is not living,” White said. “As elected officials it is our job to step in when other elected officials don't do theirs.”
Ecker, Kail and O’Neal are expected to soon introduce articles of impeachment against Krasner. If passed by committee, it would move to the whole House for a vote, then to the Senate for trial.
“These victims inspired us,” Ecker said. “It’s why we are going down this road. Philadelphia is less safe because of this DA,” he said, adding that the people who shared their stories are “the face of Krasner’s dereliction of duty and the misbehavior happening in Philadelphia with this district attorney.”
White said the proof of Krasner’s failures can be seen in the statistics.
• There were 562 homicides in Philadelphia in 2021, an increase of 78% from the 315 homicides that occurred in the year before Krasner took office in 2017
• In 2020, 2,332 people were shot in Philadelphia, an increase of 85% from the 1,257 people shot in the year before Krasner took office in 2017
• Conviction rate for Violations of the Uniform Firearms Act (VUFA) in Philadelphia have decreased from 63% in 2017 to 50% in 2020, even with a 46% increase in arrests for VUFA offenses.
“The number of cases he has dropped, reduced sentences for, or otherwise failed to put forward a case for conviction is beyond anything this Commonwealth has ever seen,” White said. “I am here today along with my colleagues and citizens from all over Philadelphia asking for your support. We’re asking for Pennsylvania to stand with victims of crime. We’re asking each and every one of you to call your legislators to ask them to support the impeachment of Larry Krasner.”
The members have set up a website where crime victims can tell their stories. It’s stopkrasner.com
Representative Martina White
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster
Rep. Martina White stands before the families of crime victims who gathered in Harrisburg to call for the impeachment of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.