Philadelphia, PA – A former assistant district attorney said in a Facebook post that Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner needed to be “put down.”
George Shotzbarger, a former ADA in Philadelphia who left office in 2007, made the post about a week ago and was referencing a line from the novel To Kill A Mockingbird.
“The incumbent is a menace to public safety. Like the rabid dog in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD he might need to be ‘put down’,” Shotzbarger wrote on Facebook, according to the website City & State Pennsylvania.
Shotzbarger, who worked 28 years in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office, said the post was “a play on words,” according to City & State Pennsylvania.
“The same way that Atticus Finch takes a rifle and puts down the rabid dog that’s endangering the children in the neighborhood, Krasner is a danger to public safety,” he said, according to City & State Pennsylvania. “But ‘put down’ means knocked a few pegs lower, ignored, removed from office...His policies need to be put down.”
Shotzbarger’s said Krasner’s policies are “antithetical to law enforcement.”
“It’s not responsible to crime victims – if you’re feeling sorry for the guy who robs the Wawa instead of the customers and cashier…It’s not responsible,” Shotzbarger said, according to City & State Pennsylvania.
Many supporters of police consider Krasner, a former civil rights attorney, to be anti-police. Krasner selected outspoken defense attorney Michael Coard to his transition team in 2017. In an 2015 column Coard wrote in Philadelphia Magazine, he compared police departments to modern versions of colonial era slave patrols.
Supporters of Krasner said that the Facebook comments come across as a veiled threat to the top prosecutor.
Johndi Harrell, the executive director of the Center for Returning Citizens and a member of the Coalition for a Just DA, said that people are jailed over disputes that start with comments on Facebook and Shotzbarger’s post should be taken seriously.
“What happens on social media has real impact on our lives. What if somebody who is not mentally stable were to read that comment and take it to heart?” Harrell said, according to City & State Pennsylvania.
Shotzbarger said that is now thinking about deleting the Facebook post. He said he didn't mean for Krasner to be shot in the street like a rabid dog.
“If people can't understand the subtlety then perhaps I should remove the post," Shotzbarger told City & State Pennsylvania.
Prior to his election, Krasner spent thirty years working as a criminal defense attorney who specialized in civil rights.
“I have seen, in essence, a system that has completely run off the rails,” Krasner told The Inquirer during his campaign. “A place with a mad zeal for the highest charge, for the highest level of conviction, a culture that can find no flaw in police misconduct, that is drunk on the death penalty. It's like watching a car crash in slow motion for 30 years.”
The anti-police lawyer has also sued law enforcement or government entities for his clients on 75 occasions, The Inquirer reported.
He has expressed an intent to end cash bail (and any bail policy where poor people are incarcerated pending trial,) vowed not to jail non-violent criminals, said he intended to end an asset-forfeiture program, and has also promised to never seek the death penalty.
He’s also expected to toss cases which involve searches without warrants, even if there was probable cause to search.
His campaign got a huge boost from George Soros, according to FOX News. Soros funded advertisements for Krasner which included “bragging of his work to free demonstrators from Occupy Philly and Black Lives Matter, and his lawsuits against police.”