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The Philadelphia District Attorney is walking back comments made earlier in the week when he claimed that the city does not have a crime problem despite homicides reaching a record number in 2021.
Larry Krasner, the district attorney, denied that there has been a rise in violent crime during a Monday press conference and said residents should not be concerned with rising crime.
“We don’t have a crisis of lawlessness, we don’t have a crisis of crime, we don’t have a crisis of violence,” the district attorney told reporters at a Monday press conference. “It’s important that we don’t let this become mushy and bleed into the notion that there is some kind of big spike in crime. There isn’t. There is not a big spike in crime. … There is not a big spike in violent crime. Neither one of these things is true.”
In 2021 so far, the Philadelphia Police Department has reported 521 homicides, which is a 13% increase compared to 2020 and the city’s highest number of killings since at least 2007. Incidents involving a shooting have also increased by 4.4%, and the number of people who are victims of a shooting has risen by almost 3% over the past year.
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner addresses the media after a press conference announcing Danielle Outlaw as the new police commissioner Dec. 30, 2019 in Philadelphia.
(Mark Makela/Getty Images)
However, the rate of total violent offenses in Philadelphia is down by almost 3% since 2020, with armed robberies being the only violent crime that has gone up in 2021 — by 27% since 2020. Violent crimes such as rape, unarmed robberies and aggravated assaults have all declined since 2020.
“I know that some inarticulate things I said earlier this week have offended people. The message conveyed through media sound bites is not at all what I meant,” Krasner said in a statement released Thursday.
Krasner then went on to say that he will be more careful in the future but fell short of making an apology or changing his remarks from the Monday press conference.
“Complete answers based on data aimed at solutions to gun violence will be edited down to sound bites. It’s my job to make sure even those sound bites are careful. As someone whose strong support is owed in part to the fact that I don’t communicate or make decisions like a career politician, it is my obligation to do better,” Krasner said.
( Getty Images North America)
On Wednesday, former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter blasted Krasner’s remarks in a Philadelphia Inquirer opinion piece and labeled them as some of the worst comments he’s heard by an official.
“District Attorney Larry Krasner’s recent remarks about whether we are experiencing a crime crisis are some of the worst, most ignorant and most insulting comments I have ever heard spoken by an elected official,” Nutter said.
Nutter also said that Krasner’s comments reek of “white privilege” and “white wokeness.”
“It takes a certain audacity of ignorance and white privilege to say that right now,” Nutter said. “I have to wonder what kind of messed up world of white wokeness Krasner is living in to have so little regard for human lives lost, many of them Black and brown, while he advances his own national profile as a progressive district attorney.”
Downtown Skyline of Philadelphia
The former mayor also presented a question to Krasner: “How many more Black and brown people, and others, would have to be gunned down in our streets daily to meet your definition of a ‘crisis’?”
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“Words matter. Words impact and trigger and hurt. Words mean something from elected officials. Krasner should publicly apologize to the 521 families of dead victims and the thousands of those maimed by gun wounds this year. He has ignored the pain of the living and insulted the memory of the dead,” Nutter wrote.
Fox News’ Audrey Conklin and Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.
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