Posted on December 11, 2020

U.S. Attorney Announces Federal Charges in Killing of Sgt. James O’Connor

Fox 29, December 10, 2020

U.S. Attorney William McSwain has announced federal charges in the shooting death of a Philadelphia SWAT officer earlier this year.

McSwain announced Thursday that an indictment was unsealed charging four defendants with the murder of Philadelphia Police Corporal James “Jimmy” O’Connor, who was posthumously promoted to Sergeant, and related drug trafficking and firearms offenses.

James O'Connor

James O’Connor

Hassan Elliott, 22, Bilal Mitchell, 20, Khalif Sears, 19, and Sherman Easterling, 25, were all charged in the seven-count indictment. {snip}

Hassan Elliot

Hassan Elliot

The indictment alleges that the defendants are members of a violent drug trafficking group known as “1700 Scattergood,” which operates in the Frankford section of Northeast Philadelphia.

Police say Sgt. O’Connor was killed during a SWAT operation to arrest Elliot, who was suspected in a separate homicide.


Last month, all four men were ordered to stand trial on charges filed by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office earlier this year.

“{snip} Sadly, this year has already seen more shootings in Philadelphia than in any other year – ever,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “{snip} The truth is that, as a practical matter, District Attorney Larry Krasner’s pro-violent defendant policies are what kept Hassan Elliott on the street; they put this horrible chain of events in motion; and in that sense, they are every bit as responsible for Sergeant O’Connor’s alleged murder as the defendants. {snip}”