Larry Krasner, the civil rights attorney who won the Democratic nomination for Philadelphia district attorney Tuesday, said he’ll welcome outsiders into the office that he hopes to occupy in January.
Speaking with reporters Wednesday afternoon, Krasner, said the Philadelphia DA’s office has hired mostly from the region in the past, in part because it’s dominated by a culture that values convictions and tough sentences above seeking justice.
“That has limited the applicants,” Krasner said.
In his office, he said, “The applicants will be more, they will be from farther away. They will be highly talented mid-career people who are dying to work in a truly progressive DA’s office but would not work — just as I would not work — in the culture that this DA’s office has represented for the last 30 years at least.”
Krasner also traded verbal jabs with the president of the police officers union.
Fraternal Order of Police President John McNesby was harshly critical of Krasner during the campaign. After his nomination, McNesby told Philly.com Krasner “would be catastrophic to the police department and the community.”
Further, McNesby said, police should “maybe to pull over to the side of the road and call the district attorney’s office. Don’t do a damn thing because you’re not going to be covered.”
Krasner noted that the FOP endorsed Rich Negrin in the primary, who finished third.
“I understand that people get upset when their candidates do not win, and they say things that really are irresponsible,” Krasner said.
But Krasner said he’s not worried about working with police officers.
“I’m delighted about working with the rank and file,” Krasner said. “If the union chooses to work with the district attorney, that’s fine. But they don’t control what the police do.”
Krasner promises big changes at the DA’s office, but first he’ll have to face Republican Beth Grossman in the November election.