Another toxic waste dump of an incident has occurred in the Philadelphia criminal justice system, languishing under the reckless stewardship of George Soros-funded District Attorney Larry Krasner (D).
This time the result of Krasner’s perverted, social in-justice policies was the needless murder of Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) corporal and SWAT Officer James O’Connor. Murder suspect Hassan Elliot participated in allegedly gunning down the 23-year veteran cop while he and other SWAT officers attempted to serve an arrest warrant.
Including Elliot, four suspects were hiding upstairs in a residence and allegedly ambushed Corporal O’Connor. They shot the officer as he climbed the stairs, attempting to arrest Elliot on his warrant for murder. Other SWAT officers shot two of the men, but, unfortunately, Elliot escaped injury. (Yes, I said unfortunately.)
William M. McSwain, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, spared no venom in his official statement about O’Connor’s assassination. “Elliot was on the street for one reason: Because of District Attorney Krasner’s pro-violent defendant policies.”
McSwain went on to describe Krasner’s track record of coddling violent criminals. He cites violent criminals’ lenient bail requirements, not arresting or charging for parole and probation violations, granting light plea deals for violent crimes, and his penchant for dropping serious cases against violent felons. The ingredients which “put dangerous criminals like Elliot on the street.”
McSwain believes Corporal O’Connor’s “widow, his children, his brothers and sisters in law enforcement…deserve to know why he died.” He lists the facts.
The U.S. attorney explains Elliot has a long history of violence, as a gang member in his Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood. McSwain refers people to a YouTube video of the gang’s activity, where they can see Elliot, his face partially obscured, holding a gun.
In 2017, Elliot was arrested on gun charges. Krasner offered a plea deal, which was lower than the sentencing guidelines of 9-27 months and three years probation. Elliot served only seven months and 16 days.
After his release, Elliot was designated a “high-risk” convicted felon and was put under weekly visits and regular urinalysis by the Anti-Violence High Risk Unit. He immediately violated his parole by missing his check-ins with his parole officer and failing multiple drug tests.
A violation hearing was scheduled for February 6, 2019. But, on January 29, 2019, after a foot pursuit, police arrested Elliot for cocaine possession. Which was another parole violation. According to McSwain, Krasner released Elliot on his own recognizance, setting no bail. Zero bail. And this for a suspect who’d committed a new felony and multiple parole violations from his original firearms conviction.
McSwain wrote: “Here, there was an arrest and multiple parole violations and the Krasner regime did nothing.” And Krasner kept on doing just that: nothing. He did nothing when, soon after his cocaine arrest, the PPD’s “Operation Pinpoint” declared Elliot “one of the City’s worst violent offenders.” But that doesn’t seem to phase Krasner.
After leaving a pre-trial hearing on March 1, 2019, Elliot and another suspect allegedly murdered Tyree Tyrone who was sitting in his car, shooting him at close range. Elliot was caught on video fleeing the scene, and investigators found his prints “on one of the alleged murder weapons.” The court issued an arrest warrant for murder, with Elliot’s name on it.
You’re probably already outraged but, if not, get ready. When Elliot didn’t show up for his cocaine trial —imagine that— instead of requesting an arrest warrant, Krasner dropped the case, “citing prosecutorial discretion.” McSwain wrote, “Elliott then remained at-large until the murder of Corporal O’Connor.”
McSwain makes it clear he believes —and I agree— had Krasner incarcerated Elliot, which he’d had an abundance of opportunities to do on several occasions, both Corporal O’Connor and Mr. Tyrone “would be alive today.”
The U.S. attorney expressed dismay at Krasner’s irrational, irresponsible decision in dropping Elliot’s cocaine charges. This was a parole violator who failed to show up for his court date and had been designated one of the city’s most violent criminals. Had Elliot been convicted for the cocaine charges, and the evidence indicates he likely would have been, again, he would have been in prison, unable to murder Mr. Tyrone or a Philadelphia police officer.
“[T]his District Attorney’s priorities always lie with violent offenders, consequences be damned,” McSwain wrote. And the PPD shares the U.S. attorney’s disdain for Krasner. When Krasner showed up at the hospital to try to visit Corporal O’Connor and his family, officers blocked his entrance. About the family, McSwain wrote they “wanted nothing to do with [Krasner].”
McSwain admonishes Krasner not to rely on his pat defense against valid criticism “that the U.S. Attorney is a Trump appointee.” He says this case has nothing to do with President Trump or him. He’s right. It’s about a cop and another young man, whose deaths were predictable and avoidable and whose blood is on Krasner’s hands.
I’ll let U.S. Attorney McSwain have the last word: “Krasner has infected the District Attorney’s Office with a sickness that has deadly consequences for the entire City. Enough is enough. This madness must stop.”
This piece was written by Steve Pomper on March 22, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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