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Krasner Wins First Police Officer Conviction in Philadelphia

Larry Krasner has been at the forefront of the progressive prosecutor movement since becoming Philadelphia's district attorney in 2017, reports The Atlantic. He has faced battles with the police union, and Republicans in the state legislature, but has won support from community leaders and criminal justice advocates. On Wednesday his office won a manslaughter conviction against a Philadelphia police officer for shooting a Black man in 2017 – the first conviction of an on-duty officer in Philadelphia in at least half a century. Momentum has helped many progressive prosecutors push the progressive agenda after the nationwide protests over the murder of George Floyd. The result has reduced jail and prison populations, created alternatives to incarceration, emphasized community services and imposed better accountability for police misconduct.

"If you shoot an unarmed person in the back and you don’t have a lawful justification, the fact that you’re in uniform doesn’t excuse that," Krasner said. He is also pursuing murder cases against two other police officers; Philadelphia has not seen a murder case involving police officers going to trial in almost 40 years. Rising crime rates have weakened progressive prosecutors' standing, and the rate of violent crime has spiked during the pandemic. Philadelphia has experienced 388 homicides this year, which is more than 2021 and double what it was in 2015. The Pennsylvania General Assembly may impeach Krasner, who was held in contempt, after he refused to provide documents. Krasner has filed suit arguing that the legislature lacks authority to remove him under the state constitution.


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