Democratic Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said during a press conference on Monday that he will pursue “individual justice” to decide how looters will be held accountable.
Over 100 looters broke into 28 stores across Philadelphia on Sept. 26 and 27 following a judge’s decision to not pursue charges against a city police officer who was accused of murder. Krasner claimed that most of these looters had been “caught up in a movement” and should be held “accountable” without a “conviction,” he said during a press conference.
“A very large number of them are young,” Krasner said at the meeting. “They’re between the ages of 18 and 25, and in general what we are seeing is most of them have no criminal record or a minimal criminal record. But that isn’t all of them. There certainly are some people in this group that are much more concerning than others and part of our task will be to make sure that we do individual justice in each of these cases.”
Krasner pointed to his previous response to riots and looting, including his choice to not convict many of the violent protesters following George Floyd’s death in 2020, he said during the press conference. The Philadelphia DA chose not to prosecute 85% of the 2020 rioters, instead requiring them to participate in “restorative justice circles” and other “restorative response programs,” according to a 2022 press release.
“I do think that if it turns out that none of the people involved in the unrest before [in 2020] are this group of people, that’s an important thing to note,” Krasner said at the press conference. “It would appear that the way those cases are resolved — both with vigorous prosecution as to some and with an approach that was involving accountability but did not involve a conviction — it would appear, if none of them are here, that we did the right thing before.”
Krasner has already released some suspects on zero bail, most within 12 hours of their initial arrest. So far, more than 70 people been charged for their involvement in the riots and looting, according to NBC10 Philadelphia.
“We understood [in 2020] the complexity of taking people who have essentially no prior record and are caught up in a movement and are nonetheless committing crimes,” Krasner said at the press meeting. “All of them should be held accountable, but there is more than one way to hold them accountable…”
Krasner did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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