A visibly angry former Philadelphia mayor, also a Democrat, on Thursday accused the city’s district attorney of dodging an opportunity to denounce the campaign of a losing Democratic candidate by referring to a surge in gang violence as a “crisis” rather than a “crime” surge.
Lawrence Taylor, a veteran of Philadelphia politics who once held the top posts in city government and on the City Council, was speaking to the city’s Delegation of Democratic Women at their annual meeting, of which he is currently vice president. He had to pause at one point in his speech to clear his throat and voice his displeasure with District Attorney Larry Krasner.
“What is a crime surge, Mr. Krasner?” Taylor said in apparent frustration. “Is that what’s going on in our city?”
Taylor then angrily added: “Has our district attorney given us a simple, clear definition? What does a crime surge look like? Because I don’t know that he has.”
Taylor asked Krasner’s own agenda of overseeing efforts against “organized crime” to explain his refusal to consider the surge in murders. Taylor then referenced a viral Facebook Live video from Philadelphia resident Rylysha Paschal-Brown in which she said that “they call it gang violence. We call it murder.”