Philadelphia, PA – Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said Wednesday that he would charge federal law enforcement officers deployed to his city by President Donald Trump with crimes if they engaged in the same sort of activities recently reported in Portland.
Krasner issued the statement after President Trump praised the work of Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) agents in Portland and said he was sending the same sort of force to Chicago to help quell the violence in that city, WTXF reported.
The President also listed Philadelphia when he talked about cities where he was “going to do something” about the riots.
“My dad volunteered and served in World War II to fight fascism, like most of my uncles, so we would not have an American president brutalizing and kidnapping Americans for exercising their constitutional rights and trying to make America a better place, which is what patriots do,” Krasner said,. “Anyone, including federal law enforcement, who unlawfully assaults and kidnaps people will face criminal charges from my office.”
He told Bloomberg there was nothing unusual about having federal authorities in the city working with the Philadelphia police on drugs, guns, and explosives cases.
“What’s unusual here is the fluffy rhetoric about taking over cities,” Krasner explained. “What’s unusual is the politicization of a normal relationship between federal law enforcement and local law enforcement. And what is really unusual is the apparently illegal stormtrooper tactics that have been used by federal law enforcement in Portland.”
“It is not OK to fracture skulls with what they like to call non-lethal rubber bullets or tear gas canisters,” the district attorney continued. “It is not OK when there is no probable cause to jump out of a rental van and just requisition people off the street. That looks like a dictatorship. That looks like a kidnapping. That looks like a crime.”
“So there’s nothing unusual about federal law enforcement doing law enforcement work, where it may follow the law and where they have jurisdiction to do so. That’s not what we’re dealing with here, though,” he added. “We’re dealing with a shiny object that the president is waving around to distract from his outrageous failures in many other areas. And to try to use his usual tactics of neo-fascist division, hate, and racism to improve his almost deceased campaign.”
Krasner reiterated to Bloomberg that he had full jurisdiction to have federal officers arrested in Philadelphia if he felt he had probable cause, but lamented that those cases might end up in federal court.
The district attorney said he thought he had the support of the city and the police department behind him, not that they could stop him if they wanted to.
“I would like to think that this mayor and this reform commissioner mean what they say when they say we’re not going to tolerate federal law enforcement committing crimes on Philadelphia streets,” he said. “I think they probably do. But I can tell you to some extent, it doesn’t matter because I’m not going to tolerate it. And the D.A.’s office is able to act either independently or in collaboration with the Philadelphia Police Department.”
Krasner acknowledge that federal authorities had every right to deploy federal officers wherever they wanted but said it was inappropriate to do so without coordinating with local authorities, Bloomberg reported.
The district attorney then accused President Trump of attacking his city because, Krasner claims, he’s opposed to diversity.
He told Bloomberg that the President “has made it clear that he’s basically opposed to and against large groups of diverse people, he’s against big cities and he is against all the freedoms Philadelphia stands for.”
Krasner said that he thought President Trump was “perfectly willing to act like Putin” and mocked the 150-agent deployment of federal police to Chicago as “fluff.”
He said the deployments had nothing to do with the violent riots and looting and instead accused the President of targeting cities where his campaign polling numbers were in decline, according to Bloomberg.
The riots in Portland have been going on for weeks, with millions of dollars in damage to public and private buildings.
Three federal officers may have been permanently blinded by rioters who shined lasers into their eyes while they were protecting the federal courthouse from being looted and burned.
A coordinated attack by antifa during a protest of the Christopher Columbus statue in Chicago’s Grant Park on July 17 left 49 police officers with injuries.