The recent wave of looting and violence in Philadelphia has garnered attention, even from mainstream media outlets. Retail stores, state liquor distributors, and pharmacies have been severely damaged, and looters have ransacked these establishments. Despite the chaos, law enforcement is grappling with making arrests and restoring order. However, the city’s District Attorney, Larry Krasner, known for his progressive stance on crime, has taken a controversial approach to handling the criminals involved.
Krasner, who has faced criticism for his leniency on crime and was even impeached by Pennsylvania Republicans last year, has vowed to investigate the individuals involved in the looting in an “even-handed way.” He suggested that those arrested for their involvement in the looting may have been “fundamentally law-abiding people” throughout their lives, despite their recent criminal activities.
This approach has raised eyebrows, especially considering the severity of the looting and destruction witnessed in Philadelphia. Critics argue that Krasner’s willingness to downplay the actions of the looters is a disservice to the city’s law-abiding citizens who have suffered due to the criminal behavior.
Videos and images of the looting and violence have circulated widely, leading many to question whether the perpetrators can genuinely be considered “fundamentally law-abiding people.” The police have made arrests, including that of Dayjiaa Blackwell, an Instagram “influencer” who was seen directing others to participate in the looting. Even though she may not have personally stolen or damaged property, her role in organizing criminal activities could have significant legal consequences.
One issue that arises from such cases is the perception of unequal treatment based on political affiliations or demographics. Krasner’s track record has been to prioritize leniency and emptying jails, often at the expense of public safety. Critics argue that his approach favors politically favored groups while leaving law-abiding citizens vulnerable to the consequences of rising crime.
While Krasner’s impeachment efforts failed, some Republicans are still pursuing charges against him. However, for now, the people of Philadelphia are grappling with the fallout of looting and violence while questioning whether they will see justice served under Krasner’s leadership. The recent events have highlighted the challenges of achieving law and order when political ideology plays a significant role in decision-making within the criminal justice system.