PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The U.S. attorney who represents the Philadelphia area unsealed two indictments for violent crimes in the city on Monday morning. U.S. Attorney William McSwain says the cases were not pursued “strongly enough” by Philadelphia’s District Attorney Larry Krasner.
Outside of the federal courthouse in Center City, McSwain said, “The district attorney’s lenient violent crimes policies come at the expense of minority neighborhoods.”
While McSwain made his announcement of two indictments, next to him was a poster that listed the names of ten people.
He says they each received plea deals from the District Attorney’s Office for gun, drug and assault charges. And each of them were later charged in Philadelphia for separate murder cases.
But, McSwain called Monday’s news conference to announce gun charges against 53-year-old John Allen Banks. He says Banks had a gun on him while on probation for committing his second homicide in the City of Philadelphia.
Federal charges were also filed against 28-year-old Khalif Tuggle.
In 2017, Tuggle was convicted of third-degree murder in Thomas Peterson’s death, but McSwain says Tuggle should have been tried for first-degree murder, which carries an automatic life sentence.
“Thomas Peterson’s mother and his sister are here today,” McSwain said. “We’ve been in close contact with them from the beginning and that’s the missing part of the puzzle. Victims get left behind, victims get ignored by the DA’s office. So we’re trying to do right by the victims and do right by every resident in the city who wants to live in a safe city.”
In response, Larry Krasner’s Office said, it would be inappropriate to comment but pointed out Tuggle pleaded guilty to third-degree murder.