EXCLUSIVE: A pro-cop Political Action Committee, set up by former Philadelphia police officers, is launching an effort to unseat left-wing Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner — saying his extreme policies have led to a spike in violent crime in the city.
The Protect Our Police PAC, which was organized to elect pro-cop candidates at the state and local level, is eyeing Krasner, who has infuriated police with what they see as pro-criminal policies that led to prisoners being released onto the streets early to re-offend.
“He’s letting these guys out under the guise of criminal justice reform,” founder Nick Gerace, himself a former Philly cop, told Fox News. “Listen, we’re all in favor of reform, but when you’re doing it to violent criminals who you know have no moral compass whatsoever and prove time and time again…they’re going to commit heinous acts of violence toward citizens, and he keeps letting them go, that’s not criminal justice reform, that idiocracy, it’s stupid, it’s dumb.”
The PAC is launching a new campaign, with $50,000 behind it. The ads, along with an accompanying “Fire Krasner” website, warn that the progressive DA has turned neighborhoods into “deadly warzones” with minority communities being hit the hardest. According to the Philadelphia Police Department, there has been a 33% increase in homicides year-to-date.
Another ad from the group includes testimonies of the family members of victims in the city.
“He cares more about the criminals than he does the victims,” one family member says.
One of the testimonies comes from the wife of Cpl. Jimmy O’Connor, a police officer killed by a then-homicide suspect who had been released.
“If [Krasner] didn’t let this individual out of jail, my husband would still be here,” Terri O’Connor says on the video.
Gerace told Fox the death of O’Connor, a father of two, last year was a motivating factor for him personally: “I was already looking at putting together this PAC, but that really lit a flame and really motivated me, watching someone be murdered because of this failed social experiment, these failed policies and it’s unfortunate the body count of Larry Krasner has been racking up since.”
He also points to what he describes as a “hatred” toward cops from Krasner, contrasting his waiving of certain violations for those involved in looting in riots last year while focusing on prosecuting the men and women in blue. Before being elected, Krasner made his name as a civil rights lawyer who had sued cops 75 times.
“He has an utter disregard and hatred toward cops,” Gerace said.
It’s a fight that’s especially personal for Gerace, considering he spent decades protecting citizens in communities that he now says are being wrecked by left-wing policies.
“They’re good, hard-working people,” he says of the communities he served. “These people are scared, they want to live their lives, they want to go to work, want to be able to have their kids have friends and play in safety, and it’s not happening.”
The PAC points to polling suggesting Krasner’s approval rating is underwater. Recently, Philadelphia’s Democratic City Committee declined to make an endorsement.
The PAC is not backing a specific candidate and is nonpartisan. Krasner is facing Carlos Vega, a former prosecutor who was fired by Krasner, as his main challenger in the Democratic primary. Vega has also accused Krasner of making the city less safe amid concerns about homicide spikes in the city.
A Philadelphia Inquirer analysis found that arrests for illegal gun possession have nearly tripled, but conviction rates have plunged. Krasner says cops are making weaker cases and judges are throwing out cases when witnesses don’t appear. He has also blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for an increase in crime and has expressed confidence that voters won’t be “stupid.”
“I do not believe that people who have had the wisdom to elect progressive prosecutors all over the country, and increasingly, all of a sudden are going to get the stupids,” Krasner told Politico recently, “and decide that a phenomenon that is affecting essentially every major city — and is affecting traditional prosecutors’ cities and Republican cities just as much as progressive prosecutors’ cities and Democratic cities — I do not believe all of a sudden they’re going to get that stupid and go for this kind of dumb scapegoating.”
The small PAC has a steep climb ahead of it, given Krasner’s high profile and prior backing from mega left-wing donor George Soros, whose organizations have backed a number of left-wing causes across the money. The Inquirer reports Krasner got $1.7 million in the last cycle from the Soros-funded Philadelphia Justice & Public Safety PAC.
Gerace is warning that this is a national issue, considering Soros has backed a number of left-wing district attorneys across the country.
“Whenever you see a George Soros DA across the country, there’s huge spikes in violent crime and it’s because they’re all doing this Marxist, jacka– criminal justice reform that is just getting people killed, getting people injured, and it’s decimated police departments.”
As Protect Our Police launches its bid against Krasner, it is all too aware of the funding gap it potentially face sif Soros, celebrities and tech figures pour money into the race once again — and is hoping pro-cop Americans, even those far away from Philly, will step in.
“This is pretty much one of the most important elections — a district attorney race in Philadelphia — for our country, and if you want to help, if you want your voice heard, we need donations, we need to be able to fight against an endless deep pocket like Soros,” he said.
Fox News’ Talia Kaplan contributed to this report.