The Philadelphia Inquirer Really, Really Hates Cops!

I suppose that I shouldn’t have been surprised. On Tuesday, October 11th, the day that the Philadelphia Police Department reported that 423 people had been murdered in the City of Brotherly Love, the website home page of The Philadelphia Inquirer had, in their “Philly Tips” section, “How to file a complaint against a Philly police officer”.

No, I am not including the link, and yes, perhaps I should have taken a larger screenshot of the main page to document its location better, but it’s really not surprising that the very #woke¹ Inquirer would have something like that.

Of course, the Inky was doubtlessly distraught because the George Soros-sponsored, police-hating defense lawyer who became District Attorney, Larry Krasner — whom the Inky endorsed for re-election — and his minions had totally bungled a murder case against a city police officer:

A Philly judge threw out all charges in the murder case against former police officer Ryan Pownall

Common Pleas Court Judge Barbara A. McDermott ruled that prosecutors years ago had failed to provide sufficient legal instructions to a grand jury as it weighed whether or not to charge Pownall.

by Chris Palmer | Tuesday, October 11, 2022

A Philadelphia judge dismissed all charges Tuesday against former city police officer Ryan Pownall, ruling that prosecutors had failed years ago to provide proper legal instructions to a grand jury as it weighed whether to charge him with murder in a 2017 on-duty shooting.

Common Pleas Court Judge Barbara A. McDermott said there were “so many things wrong” with how the District Attorney’s Office instructed grand jurors before they approved a presentment recommending murder charges in the landmark case.

In particular, McDermott said during a pretrial hearing, prosecutors had failed to provide the panel with information on how and when officers are legally justified in firing their weapons. “How could the grand jury do [its] job without knowing that?” she asked.

She chastised prosecutors for what she viewed as a series of other errors, saying that if a defense attorney had behaved in a similar fashion before her, “I would declare them incompetent.”

There’s more at the link, but Big Trial Blog has the story in more detail, by a writer who actually knows what he’s doing:

Clown Show: Judge Tosses D.A.’s Faulty Murder Case Against Cop

by Ralph Cipriano | Tuesday, October 11, 2022

The clown show that is the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office was fully exposed this afternoon in the courtroom of Common Pleas Court Judge Barbara McDermott.

At the end of a more than two-hour hearing, McDermott ruled that the D.A.’s Aug. 23, 2018 grand jury indictment of former police officer Ryan Pownall for murder was riddled with so many legal errors that she was quashing the grand jury’s report, known as a presentment because it was “no good” and it’s “conclusions cannot be relied on.”

What was so wrong with the grand jury presentment that charged Pownall for murder in the racially-charged 2017 shooting death of dirt biker David Jones?

Well for starters, the grand jury was run by former Assistant District Attorney Tracy Tripp, who, depending upon your viewpoint, was either [a] totally incompetent or [b] corrupt, or [c], the correct answer, both totally incompetent and corrupt.

In the Pownall case, Krasner, who had just taken office in January 2018, was looking for the first cop he could publicly hang for murder. And that happened to be Ryan Pownall, who fatally shot Jones, who was armed and on the run, while attempting to escape arrest.

For Krasner, the scheming arsonist, it was a perfect case for making headlines because Pownall was white and Jones was black. But the problem was that Krasner’s office is so lame and inept that Krasner relied on Tripp to do the job. And operating behind the closed doors of the grand jury, the rookie prosecutor completely botched the hit.

For Tripp, a former public defender who joined Krasner’s office in February, 2018, running the Pownall grand jury was [a] her first grand jury investigation and [b] her first murder case.

The only qualification that Tripp the novice prosecutor had to be a running a grand jury investigation of a former cop for murder was that she was a true believer like Krasner, the progressive reformer who hates cops, and wanted to nail one of them for murder.

There’s a lot more at the original, and I’d really like to quote it all, but that would be a copyright violation. But, not to worry, unlike what I have often called The Philadelphia Enquirer², the Big Trial blog is not behind a paywall.

Mr Cipriano continues on to list not one, but several errors, not only by ADA Tripp, but the current Assistant District Attorneys at the hearing, Vince Corrigan and Lyandra Retacco, performed poorly in trying to salvage the case. Of course, when you are trying to defend and salvage incompetence, it’s difficult to look coherent yourself.

It was so bad that not even Chris Palmer, one of Krasner’s dedicated apologists at The Philadelphia Inquirer, could fully clean up the mess in a late developing story that the Inky promptly ushered off the front page of its newly designed website.

ADAs Corrigan and Retacco let it be known that Mr Krasner’s office would attempt to recharge Mr Pownell, at which point the judge warned them that they had better give him a preliminary hearing, another step they’d skipped the first time around.

I checked the Inky’s website Wednesday morning, and at least as of this writing, neither the Editorial Board nor any of the newspaper’s columnists had weighed in on the case.

The District Attorney wants the use of force statutes changed, because he loves going after policemen, far more than he likes going after the killers who have sent 424 Philadelphians to their deaths, but things haven’t worked out well for him:

The Philly DA’s Office will not appeal a recent ruling on police shootings to the U.S. Supreme Court

The decision potentially clears the way for former officer Ryan Pownall to be tried for murder this fall.

by Chris Palmer | Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Philadelphia prosecutors said Wednesday they do not plan to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the state’s use-of-force law for police — potentially clearing the way for former city officer Ryan Pownall to be tried for murder this fall.

The decision, announced in court Wednesday, came several weeks after Pennsylvania’s high court rejected a challenge by District Attorney Larry Krasner’s office to the state statute governing how and when on-duty officers are permitted to use their weapons.

Prosecutors said they believed Pennsylvania’s law violates the state constitution and the Fourth Amendment because it permits officers to shoot fleeing suspects even if there is no threat of imminent death or serious injury.

But in a 4-2 decision last month, the high court said it believed Krasner’s office had chosen the wrong venue — Pownall’s trial — to try to upend a portion of the state criminal code, which is written by the legislature.

There’s more at the original, and yes, if you aren’t a subscriber to the Inquirer, there’s a paywall which restricts you to just a few free stories a month. I subscribe so that you needn’t. But, simply put, Mr Krasner does not want the police to be able to use deadly force to stop a fleeing suspect, even if that fleeing suspect is known to be armed and to have used his weapon. This is important, because the District Attorney wants to try former Officer Edsaul Mendoza, who shot fleeing Thomas Siderio, after young Mr Siderio had fired a shot at police, which caused a flying glass injury to another officer. Commissioner Danielle Outlaw discharged the officer, yet declined to name him, for his safety, but the Inquirer, hating cops the way they do, published his name, with Chris Palmer being one of the article authors. I saw that as the Inky trying to get Officer Mendoza killed.

Because Mr Mendoza has been charged with first degree murder, he is being held without bail.

So far, the Inky has not opined that the SWAT officers, three of whom were shot and wounded by a murder suspect Wednesday morning, should be charged with a crime for returning fire and killing the suspect, and the case is so obvious that even the editors of the Inquirer might just keep their keyboards quiet, but I wouldn’t be that surprised if they didn’t.
¹ – From Wikipedia:

Woke (/ˈwk/) as a political term of African-American origin refers to a perceived awareness of issues concerning social justice and racial justice. It is derived from the African-American Vernacular English expression “stay woke“, whose grammatical aspect refers to a continuing awareness of these issues.
By the late 2010s, woke had been adopted as a more generic slang term broadly associated with left-wing politics and cultural issues (with the terms woke culture and woke politics also being used). It has been the subject of memes and ironic usage. Its widespread use since 2014 is a result of the Black Lives Matter movement.

I shall confess to sometimes “ironic usage” of the term. To put it bluntly, I think that the ‘woke’ are just boneheadedly stupid.
² – RedState writer Mike Miller called it the Enquirer, probably by mistake, so I didn’t originate it, but, reminiscent of the National Enquirer as it is, I thought it very apt.
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