New second in command at DA’s office has experience on both sides of the courtroom

 Philadelphia district attorney candidate Tariq El-Shabazz. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Philadelphia district attorney candidate Tariq El-Shabazz. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

The departure of Philadelphia’s first deputy District Attorney at the end of the year brings a surprise replacement.

Tariq El-Shabazz has defended high profile cases in Philadelphia from alleged crooked cops to rapper Meek Mill.  So his appointment as the next first deputy district attorney was a surprise to many.   But El-Shabazz says his experience defending cases will be put to good use.

“When I walked in that courtroom and I looked at some of the assistant district attorneys in cases that I had, sometimes I took a deep breath because I knew it was going to be a war.  Well I’m glad to be on your side now and glad to work with you and to share things that will allow both of us to grow.”

El-Shabazz did have prosecutor experience before he started working as defense attorney.  

DA Seth Williams says he would have liked to keep retiring George Mosee as first deputy forever, but is excited about El Shabazz as the replacement.

Ironically El-Shabazz and Williams fought in a charity boxing match – with El-Shabazz winning the decision.

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