James Varney, Washington Times, February 1, 2021
District attorneys implementing liberal agendas in some of America’s biggest cities oversaw soaring homicide counts last year and are now being hit with lawsuits and recriminations from police agencies.
Angry police officers and their backers are doing all they can to boost a May primary challenge to Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, who refuses to prosecute some gun possession and drug crimes.
A California court is scheduled to hear a lawsuit Tuesday filed by the Association of Deputy District Attorneys in Los Angeles against District Attorney George Gascon. The suit accuses Mr. Gascon of illegally blocking prosecutors from pursuing enhanced sentencing in violent crimes and other major criminal cases.
“It’s like we don’t have a prosecutor here, we have two public defenders,” Los Angeles ADDA President Michele Hanisee said.
Ms. Hanisee echoed complaints from police and prosecutors in Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles and St. Louis — all cities that witnessed record homicide rates in 2020 or enormous increases from the previous year’s tally.
The homicide sprees in those four cities occurred on the watch of district attorneys who came to power with the help of political action committees bankrolled by billionaire liberal activist George Soros, who increasingly devotes his largesse to municipal law-and-order races.
In Philadelphia, where Mr. Krasner refusal to prosecute certain crimes, the city saw 499 homicides last year, a 40% jump from 2019. It made 2020 the most violent year for the city in the past 30 years.
Los Angeles chalked up 349 killings, a 38% increase or 100 more homicides than the previous year.
The bloodshed has not abated: South Los Angeles had 59 shooting victims in the first two weeks of 2021, compared to seven the previous year, according to L.A. Police Chief Michel Moore.
Similarly, Chicago ended a three-year decline in homicides in 2020 when 774 people were slain, a jump of 50% from the 2019 body count.
St. Louis, where Soros-backed Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner was re-elected in November, set a homicide record last year with 262. That’s a homicide rate of 87 per 100,000 residents.
In San Francisco, where Mr. Soros’ PACs boosted District Attorney Chesa Boudin, homicides ticked up from 41 in 2019 to 47 last year.
“A district attorney’s reluctance to prosecute low-level cases may make things even worse,” said Barry Latzer, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He said research points to the demonization of police and lax enforcement as likely crime accelerants.
Protect Our Police PAC President Nick Gerace said his group has been raising money and trying to find a competitive opponent for Mr. Krasner in the upcoming May primary, with the PAC’s polling showing he could be vulnerable.
“We were all asleep at the wheel while Soros came in and put these radical DAs in place,” Mr. Gerace said. “Now we have this radical in office, an ambulance chaser whose ideas align with Marxism. The bad guys aren’t slipping through the cracks here, the door is wide open.”
PACs funded almost exclusively by Mr. Soros contributed $1.45 million to Mr. Krasner’s campaign in 2017, according to campaign finance records.
Within days of taking office, Mr. Krasner fired 31 veteran prosecutors and sent memos ordering his staff to decline various drug and prostitution charges. He argued that lighter prosecutorial touch and less incarceration would be better for Philadelphia.
The situation in Los Angeles, with assistant district attorneys accusing their boss of handcuffing them in court, is unheard of among prosecutors.
The lawsuit filed in state court on Dec. 30 says Mr. Gascon prohibited deputy district attorneys from following state law regarding as many as seven sentence enhancements such as the “three strikes law” that adds more prison time for repeat offenders.