Federal prosecutor, district attorney face off on question of Philly police support

Tim Jimenez
August 16, 2019 - 9:40 am
U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain speaks outside of the federal courthouse in Philadelphia.

Tim Jimenez/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — In the wake of this week's standoff and shooting, the top federal prosecutor in Philadelphia has plenty of criticism for District Attorney Larry Krasner.

Hours after Krasner spoke Thursday about the shooting and the criminal past of suspect Maurice Hill, U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain had a press conference of his own in front of the federal courthouse. 

"There is a new culture of disrespect for law enforcement in the city," he said.

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McSwain says Krasner is to blame for championing that culture. He acknowledged that Hill's rap sheet predates Krasner's term, but overall, he says, the D.A.'s office is soft on crime and doesn't support police.

"I would say what my office is going to be doing is we're gonna be looking very carefully at what the D.A.'s office is doing and what Mr. Krasner is doing, and we're going to be providing adult supervision," McSwain said.

"This is larger than just Maurice Hill. My point is about the disrespect for law enforcement and the culture that the district attorney is fostering in the city that I believe is putting police at risk and putting the public at risk."

Krasner, for his part, said he didn't want to play along. 

"You know, I think it's kind of a shame to be politically opportunistic about such a tragic moment," Krasner said in response.

"Right now is a time for celebrating the nearly miraculous outcome, the brilliance of the Philadelphia Police — I mean, brilliance of the Philadelphia Police — in avoiding the loss of life. It's not a time for political cheapshots."

McSwain's comments come after his boss, Attorney General Bill Barr, bashed what he calls, "anti-law enforcement D.A.s" at a Fraternal Order of Police event earlier this week.