PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Philadelphia’s top federal prosecutor says the shooting of six police officers during a 7 1/2-hour standoff in the city’s Nicetown-Tioga section was precipitated by a disrespect for law enforcement that the city’s district attorney is championing. U.S. Attorney William McSwain said during a press conference Thursday that disrespect puts police in danger and that he is “fed up with it.”
“We’ve now endured over a year and a half of the worst kinds of slander against law enforcement – the DA routinely calls police and prosecutors corrupt and racist, even ‘war criminals’ that he compares to Nazis,” McSwain said. “This vile rhetoric puts our police in danger. It disgraces the Office of the District Attorney. And it harms the good people in the City of Philadelphia and rewards the wicked.”
The top prosecutors have a sharp ideological divide. McSwain is a President Donald Trump appointee and Larry Krasner is a longtime civil rights lawyer.
McSwain has previously questioned Krasner’s commitment to crime victims.
“The criminal laws in this city – and especially the existing gun laws and drug laws – should be aggressively enforced in order to protect the public and the police. My office is doing all that we can. We have prosecuted 70% more violent crime cases this year than we did last year, in response to the District Attorney’s lawlessness. But it is now time for the district attorney and his enablers to stop making excuses for criminals. It is time for accountability. It is time to support law enforcement and to put the good people of this city first,” McSwain said.
An email seeking comment was sent to Krasner.
The six officers had non-life-threatening injuries and have been released from the hospital. The suspected gunman, 36-year-old Maurice Hill, was taken into custody after surrendering shortly after midnight.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)