Statement from Robert Saleem Holbrook, Executive Director of the Abolitionist Law Center, on the Initiation of Impeachment of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner
The Abolitionist Law Center stands on the side of people’s democracy and condemns the push today by Republicans to impeach Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. DA Krasner was reelected in 2021 in a landslide victory, soundly defeating Carlos Vega — a former First District Attorney backed by the Fraternal Order of Police. That election stands as a referendum on the meaning of justice — the choice between reelecting a prosecutor committed to public safety and accountability or a person willing to forward the agenda of the police union by doubling down on racist prosecution. The people of Philadelphia chose justice.
Today’s announcement that Republicans have initiated impeachment proceedings against Larry Krasner in the state legislature is pure political theater. Republican leadership and their neoliberal allies do not care about the pandemic of gun violence that is devastating Philadelphia, nor do they care about the victims in our communities impacted by it. The reality is that the gun violence racking Philadelphia and the nation is not the fault of Larry Kranser.
Gun violence is a symptom of the widening stranglehold of poverty, the continued retrenchment of public resources, and decades of community disinvestment that has created structural inequities both political parties are responsible for creating and sustaining. If Republicans truly cared about addressing violence, they would be passing legislation that took aim at unemployment, poverty, education, and affordable housing.
The reality is that the attempt to impeach Larry Krasner is simply another tactic by Republican leadership to disenfranchise Black and Brown communities ahead of the 2024 elections.
As abolitionists we do not believe that any prosecutor will be bring about the end of the carceral state, but we have seen the consequences of racist prosecution, prosecutorial misconduct and a disregard for the rights of people impacted by state and community violence as exemplified by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office prior to Krasner’s election in 2017. And we believe the DA can play a role in harm reduction by creating a more just system. We condemn this effort by Republicans to tamper with our democracy at the expense of our people for political gain. We will not stand for it.
Robert Saleem Holbrook
Abolitionist Law Center