Archive for the ‘Press Release’ Category

Larry Krasner Announces End to Cash Bail in Philadelphia for Low-Level Offenses

February 21, 2018

Effort marks the first, of an ongoing review of cash bail

PHILADELPHIA (February 21, 2018) – Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner today announced, effective immediately, that the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) will no longer ask for cash bail for low-level offenses. The new policy marks a decisive step towards making the city’s pre-trial system fairer for the poor and for people of color.

District Attorney Larry Krasner said, “There is absolutely no reason why someone who will show up for court, is not a flight risk, and is no threat to their neighbors and community, needs to sit in jail for days because they can’t post a small amount of bail. It’s simply not fair. We don’t imprison the poor for poverty. This new cash bail policy will not only save the taxpayers money by allowing low-level defendants to maintain their freedom, but it will begin to level the economic and racial playing field in our courtrooms.”

“Through our collaborative efforts under the MacArthur Foundation Safety and Justice Challenge, as well as numerous other initiatives, we as a City are creating a more fair and efficient justice system,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “DA Krasner’s new policy to recommend against cash bail for low-level offenders is a significant step in that direction. This effort has the potential to reduce collateral consequences for those charged with low level offenses, and represents Philadelphia’s shift towards reducing or eliminating cash bail. We look forward to discussing how these changes will be applied and implemented by the District Attorney’s Office.”

After a review of all the requests for bail associated with lead charges filed in the First Judicial District (FJD) Municipal Courts over the last five years, DA Krasner has instructed Assistant District Attorneys (ADA) in the office to no longer request cash bail for defendants charged with one of the 25 specific charges (a detailed list is attached). These offenses represent approximately half of all lead charges applied over the past five years.

“I see cash bail as a medieval tool that exists in our modern criminal justice system. It’s a relic, and it increases the likelihood of future recidivism by almost nine percent. We in Philadelphia City Council recently passed a resolution about reforming cash bail, so we’re overwhelmingly supportive of the new policy, and I can tell you that I’ll do everything I can to expand fairness in the City of Philadelphia,” said Philadelphia Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr. (4th Council District).

When a defendant is charged with Possession with the Intent to Deliver (PWID) a substance other than marijuana, the DAO will consider the following factors to determine if bail will or will not be requested:

  • If the weight of the drugs is greater than 2.5g of heroin, 5g of cocaine/crack, 12.5 g of methamphetamine/PCP/amphetamine, or 5g of any other schedule I/II narcotic;
  • There is evidence of the presence of fentanyl;
  • The defendant has received two or more bench warrants in the past five years;
  • The defendant has one or more open PWID, violent felony, or gun-related case; and
  • The defendant has finished serving a PWID sentence in the last two years, a violent felony in the past five years, or a gun-related case in the past five years.

More than likely, if one or more of the above factors apply, bail requests will then be evaluated on a case by case basis.

In the FJD, and after a defendant is taken into custody, a hearing typically takes place in front of a Bail Commissioner, where the ADA requests a certain level of bail. For these 25 lead charges, nearly one in four defendants received bail between $0 and $10,000, which could keep them in pre-trial custody. Now, one of the following methods will be used:

  • Released on Recognizance;
  • Released on Special Conditions (this kind of release involves some pre-arranged communication between the defendant and FJD Pre-Trial Services before trial); or
  • Signed on Bond (a promise to pay an unsecured bail if the defendant violates their release).

ADAs will continue to have discretion to ask for monetary bail in exceptional circumstances. For example, cases where a defendant is charged with a string of crimes, such as burglaries or thefts, or who have multiple DUIs in a short period of time, may be given cash bail despite the presumption against it. The office’s new policy follows.

 

Breakdown of Charges no Longer Requiring Cash Bail

  • Access Device Fraud;
  • Burglary F2- Not for Overnight Accommodation, No Person Present;
  • Contraband;
  • Criminal Mischief;
  • DUI;
  • Forgery;
  • Fraud in Obtaining Food Stamps/Public Assistance;
  • Identity Theft;
  • Intentional Possession of a Controlled Substance;
  • Paraphernalia;
  • Possession of Marijuana;
  • Possession with Intent to Deliver (marijuana, 5lbs or under);
  • Possession with Intent to Deliver (non-marijuana, subject to listed caveats);
  • Prostitution;
  • Providing False Identification to Law Enforcement;
  • Retail Theft;
  • Resisting Arrest;
  • Receiving Stolen Property (not graded as F2);
  • Theft by Deception or False Impression;
  • Theft by Unlawful Taking (not graded as F2);
  • Theft from Motor Vehicle (not graded as F2);
  • Trademark Counterfeiting;
  • Trespass (non-residential);
  • Unlawful Purchase of a Controlled Substance (BFP); and
  • Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle.

 

Policy Memorandum from the District Attorney

Effective February 21, 2018, the District Attorney will ordinarily no longer ask for cash bail for the following misdemeanors and felonies. All representatives of the District Attorney will be expected to abide by this presumption.  Where justice requires, there is discretion to go against this presumption.

The cash bail system is rife with injustice and exacerbates socio-economic and racial inequalities, disproportionately penalizing the poor and people of color.  The reforms laid out below represent a decisive step toward ending the use of cash bail and making the pretrial system more just.

 

All representatives of the District Attorney should presume that they will no longer seek cash bail on the following charges:

  • (35-780-113-A16 Intentional Possession of a Controlled Substance
  • (75-3802) DUI
  • (18-3929) Retail Theft
  • (35-780-113-A19) Unlawful Purchase of a Controlled Substance (BFP)
  • (35-780-113-A3) Possession of Marijuana
  • (18-3921) Theft by Unlawful Taking (not graded as F2)
  • (18-5902) Prostitution
  • (18-3925) Receiving Stolen Property (not graded as F2)
  • (18-3304) Criminal Mischief
  • (18-4101) Forgery
  • (18-3502) Burglary F2- Not for Overnight Accommodation, No Person Present
  • (18-3503) Trespass (non-residential)
  • (18-3934) Theft from Motor Vehicle (not graded as F2)
  • (18-3922) Theft by Deception or False Impression
  • (18-5104) Resisting Arrest
  • (18-3928) Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle
  • (35-780-113-A320) Paraphernalia
  • (18-5123) Contraband
  • (18-4914) Providing False Identification to Law Enforcement
  • (62-481) Fraud in Obtaining Foodstamps/Public Assistance
  • (18-4120) Identity Theft
  • (18-4119) Trademark Counterfeiting
  • (18-4106)  Access Device Fraud
  • (35-780-113-A30) PWID-Marijuana (5lbs or under)

 

Special Conditions for PWID Cases (Other than Marijuana)

Where a defendant is charged with possession with the intent to deliver a substance other than marijuana, the presumption against monetary bail applies, except in any of the following circumstances:

  • The weight of drugs possessed is greater than:
    • Heroin: 5g
    • Cocaine/Crack: 5g
    • Methamphetamine/PCP/Amphetamine: 5g
    • Other schedule I/II narcotic: 5g
  • There is evidence of the presence of fentanyl
  • The defendant has received two or more bench warrants in the past five years
  • The defendant has one or more open cases of:
    • PWID
    • A violent felony or
    • VUFA/PIC (gun)
  • A defendant has finished serving a sentence for:
    • PWID in the last 2 years
    • A violent felony in the past 5 years
    • VUFA or PIC (gun) in the past 5 years

 

Discretion:

In the above cases where the presumption applies, representatives of the District Attorney should generally recommend R.O.R.

While a presumption against cash bail applies in the above cases, representatives will continue to have discretion to ask for monetary bail where justice requires.  For example, cases where a defendant is charged with a string of crimes, such as burglaries or thefts, or who have multiple DUIs in a short period of time, may be given cash bail despite the presumption against it.  A significant history of recent flight may also suggest detention.

 

For all cases not subject to the above policy, representatives of the District Attorney should continue to evaluate bail requests on a case by case basis.

This policy will also apply to bail reduction motions in preliminary hearing and trial rooms, and in Motions Court.

 

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LARRY KRASNER ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF IMMIGRATION COUNSEL FOR PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE

January 25, 2018

FOR IMMIEDATE RELEASE
January 25th, 2018

CONTACT:
Ben Waxman, 215-686-8711, Benjamin.Waxman@Phila.gov

 

PHILADELPHIA (January 25, 2017) – Philadelphia District Attorney today announced the appointment of Caleb U. Arnold as Immigration Counsel to the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO). Arnold, who has over ten years of legal experience working on immigration issues, will advise the District Attorney and DAO staff on best practices to protect the rights of immigrants interacting with the criminal justice system. (PLEASE NOTE: Caleb Arnold uses the pronouns They / Them)

District Attorney Larry Krasner said, “I am thrilled today to announce the appointment of Caleb Arnold as Immigration Counsel to the Philadelphia District Attorney. Caleb is the perfect person to help implement my agenda of equal justice and civil rights for all. Together, we will ensure that all people are treated fairly by the justice system regardless of their immigration status. This is also part of our overall effort to protect the most vulnerable and ensure they are able participate as witnesses or complainants in the criminal justice system.”

Part of Arnold’s work will be to help build relationships with immigrant communities to ensure that witnesses and victims feel safe participating in the process regardless of immigration status. They will also advise prosecutors on minimizing the impact of criminal convictions on immigration status, especially for low-level offenders who pose no threat to public safety.

Immigration Counsel Caleb Arnold said, “I am so excited for this opportunity to help develop systematic changes that recognize the collateral consequences to someone’s immigration status as we determine just outcomes.  I am also eager the build alliances and trust with immigrant communities in Philadelphia, and develop policy and practices so that all witnesses and victims are able to safely get the help they need and safely participate in the criminal justice process.”

DA Krasner was first introduced to the concept of appointing immigration counsel when visiting with prosecutors in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office back in June of 2017. Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez has already implemented a policy that aims to prevent collateral consequences of convictions by ensuring that Assistant District Attorneys (ADAs) are aware of immigration status.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said, “I commend DA Larry Krasner for his leadership and courage in adopting a policy that protects immigrants from disproportional consequences of criminal convictions and for sending a message that the justice system must treat everyone fairly, regardless of status. The success of a similar policy in Brooklyn – where our special counsels advised in over 200 cases so far to reach immigration-neutral outcomes – proves that greater equity does not jeopardize public safety. In the face of misguided federal policies, we need more local prosecutors who are willing to take a stand and do what’s right, and I’m pleased that DA Krasner is helping lead this growing movement.”

Erika Almiron, Executive Director of Juntos said, “The hiring of Caleb Arnold as the first ever immigration counsel for the District Attorney’s office marks an important milestone in the way that our city’s criminal justice system interacts with our immigrant communities. Far too often an interaction with our city’s criminal justice system has been the catalyst for many of our loved ones to be entered into deportation proceedings due to the overcharges given by previous administrations and overzealous former DAs who believed more in punishment rather than restorative justice. We recognize this new position as a first step and look forward to working with Caleb Arnold, District Attorney Larry Krasner and the rest of the DA’s office to ensure that threat of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is purged from all aspects of our criminal justice system.”

Catheryn Miller-Wilson, Executive Director of Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society of Pennsylvania said, “We must allow the criminal justice system to do its job. If victims, witnesses and defendants are afraid to participate in the criminal justice system then all of our communities suffer.  Immigration status questions have no place in the criminal justice system and we applaud the DA for working to take immigration status out of the conversation.”

Golnaz Fakhimi, Immigrant Rights Attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union said, “We commend District Attorney Krasner for his sensitivity to community fears about immigration consequences for non-citizen participants in the criminal justice system.  When an accused person, complainant, or witness is a non-citizen, criminal justice contact can carry risk of devastating immigration consequences. And the effects can extend into the family and community at large.  With this appointment, District Attorney Krasner is demonstrating good faith to his community.”

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DISTRICT ATTORNEY LARRY KRASNER TO ANNOUNCE CREATION OF NEW POSITION TO FOCUS ON IMMIGRANT RIGHTS

January 24, 2018

Contact: Ben Waxman, 215-686-8711, benjamin.waxman@phila.gov

What: DA Larry Krasner will hold a press conference to announce the creation of a new position within the District Attorney’s Office that will focus on protecting the rights of immigrations interacting with the criminal justice system. The position is modeled after a similar effort pioneered by the Brooklyn DA’s Office in New York City.

Who:
Larry Krasner, District Attorney of Philadelphia
Newly Appointed Immigration Counsel for District Attorney’s Office
Immigration Attorney’s from Brooklyn DA’s Office
Immigrant Advocates & Activists

When: Thursday, January 25, 2018, at 11:30 a.m.

Where:

Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office
3 South Penn Square, Mezzanine Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107

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DISTRICT ATTORNEY KRASNER APPOINTS JUDGE CAROLYN ENGEL TEMIN AS INTERIM FIRST ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY

January 11, 2018

PHILADELPHIA (January 11, 2018) – Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner today continued his pledge to transform the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) into the most effective prosecutor’s office in the nation by appointing Judge Carolyn Engel Temin as his Interim First Assistant District Attorney and restructuring the DAO.

“Judge Temin is a criminal justice trailblazer and I’m honored that she has rejoined the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office,” said District Attorney Krasner. “Judge Temin has not only tried and ruled on thousands of cases, but was appointed to be an international war crimes judge. She also made history as the first female Public Defender in Philadelphia before becoming a homicide prosecutor. I’m thrilled she has returned to us, and I’m overjoyed to put her vast experience to work as we make this office the best prosecutor’s office in the country.”

Judge Temin was appointed by the High Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina as an International Judge on the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo. The court tried cases involving organized crime, public corruption, and war crime cases including those from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague (Sept 2004 through November 2005).

“What District Attorney Krasner has proposed is a complete modernization of the office. I’m honored to be part of the transformation,” said Interim First Assistant District Attorney Temin.

After leaving private practice, Judge Temin became the first female lawyer to be hired by the Defender Association of Philadelphia (1964 to 1970) where she was responsible for, including other initiatives, parole and probation hearings. She joined the DAO in 1971, working in the office for nearly ten years, in numerous positions including as a Homicide prosecutor. And in 1983, she was elected to Philadelphia County’s Court of Common Pleas where she ruled on thousands of cases until she left the bench in 2003.

Temin has also lectured, taught, and consulted on legal issues and judicial systems in Serbia, Honduras, the Republic of Georgia, Tunisia, Thailand, and Barbados. She has received numerous international, national, and local awards for her work, and participates in a wide range of civic and legal activities and associations. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania (1955) and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania (1958).

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DA LARRY KRASNER ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF INTERIM VICTIM SERVICES SUPERVISOR

January 8, 2018

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is pleased to announce the appointment of Movita Johnson-Harrell, who will be joining DAO as Interim Supervisor of Victim Services. Ms. Johnson-Harrell is intimately aware of the impact of crime as she is both the mother and daughter of a homicide victim. The Victim Services unit is tasked with advocating on behalf of and providing services for all crime victims and witnesses in Philadelphia.

“I am thrilled and honored to join the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office in this vital mission, and look forward to serving the people of Philadelphia in my new role,” Ms. Johnson-Harrell said.

Ms. Johnson-Harrell founded the CHARLES (Creating Healthy Alternatives Results in Less Emotional Suffering) Foundation in 2011 after losing her 18 year-old son, Charles Andre Johnson, to gun violence. She also suffered the loss of her father, cousin, and only brother to homicide.

“I know that this moment of transition in the DAO has been confusing for some victims and their families,” said Johnson-Harrell. “I want to ensure them that our unit is open for business and that we are here to make sure that you have whatever information you need. Please, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me or my staff.”

Ms. Johnson-Harrell has served on the City of Philadelphia’s Focused Deterrence program, and has lobbied and educated state legislators on public safety, mass incarceration, and education issues for over six years. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Masters in Social Work in 2004 and was honored with Penn’s School of Social Work Anita Langsfeld Award, the Jane S. Abrams Award for Outstanding Community Service and the Resources for Children’s Health Community Service Award.

“Her wealth of knowledge, depth of experience, and enthusiasm will be crucial to our Office’s critical mission of delivering services to witnesses of and those traumatized by crime,” District Attorney Krasner said.

The Victim Services Unit can be contacted at (215) 686-8027 or e-mail DA.Victimservices@phila.gov.

Philadelphia District Attorney Inauguration Address Larry Krasner

January 2, 2018

Thank you, thank you all.

You were right. Thank you to all the volunteers, all the voters, all the people who voted for the first time, and to all of those who understood that this election had nothing to do with me as a person, but had everything to do with the movement. All of you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

A movement was sworn in today. A movement. A movement for criminal justice reform that has swept Philadelphia, as the voters have spoken, and is sweeping the United States. One large city to another. One medium sized city to another. It is sweeping the United States. Every movement has its activists. This campaign had its activists. And we have heard, not only from Rev. Miller – thank you very much for your overly kind words Rev. But we have also heard brilliantly I think from so many others, Rev. Tyler and Rev. Holston and we’ll soon hear from the rabbi, these are all people who thoroughly understand what it means to be activists. And also understands that movements don’t have lawyers as leaders, they have lawyers as technicians. They have lawyers to manage the details.

So, on behalf of that movement, and as nothing more than a technician for that movement, I have taken the oath. But it is funny because it says that I will discharge the duties of the District Attorney’s Office but it never says what those duties are. So what are those duties? Well first and foremost it’s very clear from the ethical rules that the duty of the District Attorney, which is different than other attorneys and also different from the judiciary at times, but that duty is to seek justice in society, in society; that requires us to communicate the truth; to represent the public; and to exercise power with restraint with our roots dug deep in the rich soil of equality. That is what we need to do.

So, I thank the clergy for their kind words. I want to thank my wife, Lisa Rau, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, for swearing me in. It’s not the first promise I’ve made to her. She has, in addition to being an absolutely fabulous and courageous Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, she is also the mother of our two boys. Nate who is here. Caleb, who is on the West Coast. These three remain a constant source of inspiration and support in my lifetime. I also want to thank my extended family, an enthusiastic and well populated row up here. Thank you for the decades of love and support. Just so we are clear, this is not about my family. It’s about our family, because in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection we are all family.

Today there is a little girl somewhere, let’s say in Southwest, she has really big glasses and she loves to read. And she goes to a public school where she has a fabulous teacher, and has 34 other kids in her class where there should be 20 or maybe 17. And she is going to solve the world’s problems if we just give her the chance. But the second teacher she needs is not there because the second teacher she needs is a jail cell that is occupied by a person who doesn’t need to be there. What is lost? What is lost here? Is so much human potential if we don’t get it right. It’s lost in the cost of a death penalty that is never imposed. We’ve lost that in the city with the highest rate of incarnation of any of the ten major cities. And so today we start the long road toward trading jails, and trading death row, for schools.

So, today there is another police officer in North Philly, let’s say, who is driving in a marked car and wearing a uniform in the neighborhood where he grew up. He’s smart, hardworking, loves his community, and wants to keep it safe. But when he waves, people don’t always wave back and they don’t tell him as much as he would like because there is a division between his uniform and the neighborhood that never had to be. That was not his doing. That was based on policies that were, at least, unwise and maybe worse than that. Today we start the long road toward trading division between police and the communities they serve for unity and reconciliation and cooperation.

Today there is a mother in the Northeast whose cell phone is always on ring for fear of her son being arrested, or maybe something much worse. He was prescribed pain pills by a doctor after a work accident several months ago and about the only thing he hasn’t lost yet is his life. He is homeless and wasting away from addiction to heroin. Today we start the long road toward trading jail cells occupied by people suffering from addiction for treatment and harm reduction.

And today there is a brother of a homicide victim, let’s say in South Philly, whose family can’t get justice because their key witness won’t come to court for fear of deportation. The witness is afraid of our own federal government. Today we start the long road toward empowering and protecting some of our most vulnerable witnesses and survivors, immigrants who lack legal status, so that they like other vulnerable groups; young people, elderly people, sex workers; so that they can participate in a criminal justice system that is there to protect them. Today we trade fear for sanctuary.

On these and so many other challenges that face the City, we – this movement – has taken an oath to remember that in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection we are all family. We all deserve protection. We all deserve support and second chances. We are all that family and we are all that movement. Join us.

Thank you.

PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY ANNOUNCES ARREST OF PHILADELPHIA SHERIFF’S OFFICE DEPUTY WITH SIMPLE ASSAULT, HARASSMENT, AND RELATED CRIMES

December 22, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (December 22, 2017) – Philadelphia District Kelley B. Hodge today announced that Philadelphia Sheriff’s Deputy Lyric Dunbar has been arrested and charged with Simple Assault (M2) and Harassment (S) after an attack that took place in Family Court (1501 Arch Street). The incident took place on July 30, 2017.

“Philadelphia’s courtrooms should be places of safety, not violence; especially when it comes to attacks on innocent complainants by a Deputy Sherriff,” said Philadelphia District Attorney Kelley B. Hodge. “Philadelphia Sheriff’s Deputy Lyric Dunbar will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, which is appropriate and necessary, considering the clear video evidence that we have retained and reviewed during this investigation.”

While assigned to the nursery at Family Court, Dunbar came into contact with the complainant. After exchanging words, Dunbar followed the complainant down a hallway and smacked the complainant in the back of the head. After regaining her footing, the complainant continued down the hallway and Dunbar followed. Dunbar confronted the complainant again, this time, punching the complainant in the right side of her face, causing injury to the complainant’s face and damage to the complainant’s glasses. Dunbar was restrained by other sheriff’s deputies while the complainant was transported to the hospital. The assault was captured on video.

Dunbar, DOB 02/13/1984, was hired by the Philadelphia Sherriff’s Office in August of 2013.
She has been suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss by the Philadelphia Sherriff’s Office. Her next appearance in court has yet to be scheduled.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Emily Rodriguez of the Office’s Special Investigations Unit.

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PHILADELPHIA DISTRICT ATTORNEY ANNOUNCES ARREST OF PHILADELPHIA POLICE OFFICER FOR SIMPLE ASSAULT, DUI, AND RELATED CRIMES

December 20, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (December 20, 2017) – Philadelphia District Attorney Kelley B. Hodge announced today that Philadelphia Police Officer Kevin Klein is in custody for his involvement in a December 24, 2016, traffic accident, threatening a bystander with his service revolver, and for driving under the influence.

The incident took place on December 24, 2016, on the 6100 block of Passyunk Avenue. Klein is charged with two counts of Simple Assault (M2), one count of Driving Under the Influence (UM), and one count of Leaving the Scene of an Accident (M3).

“We all know the dangers of driving under the influence, but as an off duty Philadelphia Police Officer, Kevin Klein certainly knew the dangers of his actions to himself and his fellow bystanders. And then, to use his service revolver during the course of his criminal behavior is deplorable. We expect more of those members of our community who take an oath to protect and serve, and when anyone acts criminally, they will be held accountable for their actions,” said Philadelphia District Attorney Kelley B. Hodge. “I’d like to thank the Philadelphia Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office’s Special Investigations Unit for their professionalism and dedication during this investigation.”

On the 24th, the defendant, who was off-duty, struck an occupied vehicle and then left the scene. The vehicle’s occupants pursued Klein for several miles to get him to stop, but during the pursuit, the complainants saw Klein swerve several times and strike a concrete median. When Klein finally pulled over, he appeared intoxicated, refused to provide his driving credentials, and then pulled out his service weapon and pointed it at the complainants before driving off.

Klein, DOB 06/20/1981, was hired by the Philadelphia Police Department in August of 2008 and was last assigned to the 12th Police District. He has been suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss by the Philadelphia Police Department. His next appearance in court has yet to be scheduled.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jahlee J. Hatchett of the Office’s Special Investigations Unit.

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DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE LAUNCHES HATE CRIME HOTLINE AND STRENGTHENS TASK FORCE

November 16, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (Nov. 16, 2017) – Philadelphia District Attorney Kelley B. Hodge today announced that the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) has launched a hate crimes hotline and expanded its internal procedures and community partnerships to more effectively respond to the allegations of hate crimes in the City of Philadelphia. The Office’s hotline, which will be staffed by a Victim and Witness Services Coordinator, is 215-686-8931.

“Hate has no place in the City of Philadelphia and if someone sees it happening, or is the victim of a hate crime, we now have a hotline for them to safely file their report” said Kelley B. Hodge, Philadelphia District Attorney. “Additionally, and this is new to the Hate Crimes Task Force, these improvements will allow us to better support the citizens of this great City with more specially assigned Assistant District Attorneys, formal internal policies and procedures, and an improved partnership with Pennsylvania’s Attorney General’s Office and Philadelphia’s Human Relations Commission.”

The following Assistant District Attorneys (ADA) from each geographic bureau, the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit, and the Municipal Court Unit have been assigned to prosecute any hate or bias crime in their Bureau or Unit:

  • Coordinator – Salena Jones, ADA;
  • Central Bureau – Sam Haaz, ADA;
  • East Bureau – Yasmine Rosario, ADA;
  • Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit – Helen Park, ADA;
  • Juvenile Court Unit – Meghan Goddard, ADA;
  • Municipal Court Unit – Adam Geer, ADA;
  • Northeast Bureau – Leonard Champaign, ADA;
  • Northwest Bureau – Ashley Toczylowski, ADA;
  • South Bureau – Lauren Realberg, ADA; and
  • Southwest Bureau – Antima Chakraborty, ADA.

The task force will also meet on a quarterly basis, or more frequently as needed, to discuss any concerns, improvements, and cases. It will also regularly communicate and inform the Philadelphia Human Relations Commission about their work.

“Hate has no place in our Commonwealth and we’re calling on everyone to step up and report discrimination when it happens,” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “Every Pennsylvanian deserves equal justice under the law no matter what you look like, who you pray to, where you’re from, or who you love. The Office of Attorney General fully support District Attorney Hodge’s mission, and commends the DA’s Office for opening this hotline so we can call out hate when we see it.”

As targeted by the District Attorney and the task force, a hate crime is a criminal act (e.g. vandalism, threats, assault, and murder) that is motivated by prejudice or bias and is directed at people because of their real or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, or disability.

“We cannot combat acts of hate if we remain silent. The launch of the new hate crime hotline by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office will make it much easier for anyone to speak up and report hate incidents so they can be thoroughly investigated. We are looking forward to our partnership with the enhanced task force.” said Rue Landau, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations.

Since the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania does not have a statute defining a hate crime, the Office can charge individuals under Title 18 § 2710, Ethnic Intimidation. Ethnic Intimidation is defined as any specified offense committed “…with malicious intention toward the race, color, religion or national origin of another individual or group of individuals.” Ethnic intimidation is graded one degree higher than the underlying offense.

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DISTRICT ATTORNEY HODGE ISSUES STATEMENT CONGRATULATING LARRY KRASNER ON HIS ELECTION VICTORY

November 8, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (Nov. 8, 2017) – Philadelphia District Attorney Kelley B. Hodge released the following statement congratulating District Attorney Elect Larry Krasner on his November 7, 2017, general election victory:

“Congratulations to District Attorney Elect Larry Krasner on your election victory. All of us in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office stand ready to make your transition to becoming Philadelphia’s 26th District Attorney seamless.

“Leading this office is an honor and privilege. The dedicated public servants in this Office, who you will soon have the honor to work with, like you, are unflinching in their desire to give a voice to the victims of crime and making Philadelphia a safe place to live, work, and raise a family.  My time as Philadelphia’s District Attorney has been extremely rewarding. And while the work is expectedly challenging, I am sure your tenure will provide you with the same sense of purpose as a public servant and accomplishment as my tenure as given to me. Again, Congratulations and Godspeed.”

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