Tags: Philadelphia | police | protest

Philadelphia DA Blasted for 'Anti-Police Agenda' After Second Cop Charged in Protest Response

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By    |   Thursday, 23 July 2020 04:52 PM

Philadelphia’s police union president ripped the city’s district attorney for “failing to hold protesters accountable” and pushing the prosecution of cops responding to ongoing demonstrations, Fox News reports.

John McNesby, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, accused Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner of pushing his “anti-police agenda.”

“This double standard of justice is unacceptable to our brave police officers who work tirelessly to keep our city safe,” McNesby said.

The union leader’s comment comes after Philadelphia SWAT Officer Richard P. Nicoletti, 35, turned himself in Wednesday. Nicoletti will be charged with simple assault, reckless endangerment, official oppression and possession of an instrument of crime. All are misdemeanor charges.

The officer was captured on video pulling down protesters’ masks and pepper-spraying them as they knelt on the Vine Street Expressway on June 1.

His attorney, Fortunato Perri Jr., said Nicoletti is “being charged with crimes for simply following orders.”

“His unit was ordered by commanders to clear the highway with the approved use of tear gas and pepper spray,” Perri told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “The city’s leadership was given the opportunity to apologize for approving the use of force, but Nicoletti finds himself fired and charged with crimes.”

Krasner blasted Nicoletti’s defense likening it to the argument that Nazis used to justify war crimes they committed.

“’I was following orders’ is not a defense to commit a crime. That’s, what, the Nuremberg defense? That doesn’t work,” Krasner told reporters.

“The larger message is that we are restoring trust between communities and the officers who are there to serve them, by making sure everyone understands that this is a city, that this is a country, that still believes in equality,” Krasner said during a news conference at his office. “There’s going to be justice that is evenhanded and no longer at the service of politics.”

Former Philadelphia Police Department Deputy Dennis Wilson, who was the incident commander on that day, said he approved the use of tear gas based on reports he was hearing. He said he did not ask for approval from Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw.

Nicoletti was suspended from the police department for 30 days with the intent to dismiss after the incident, the Inquirer reported.

Krasner brought charges against another veteran officer last month. Joseph Bologna Jr. was video taped shoving a protester and striking another with a metal police baton, according to Fox News.

Before Bologna turned himself in on aggravated assault and related charges, hundreds – including many cops in uniform – applauded and saluted the 31-year veteran of the force as he left the police union headquarters to head to the precinct to surrender.

Jane Roh, the spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office, said McNesby's claim that protesters haven’t been charged with crimes is inaccurate. Roh said “hundreds” of people have been charged with looting and violent crimes.

“John McNesby insults the majority of honest, decent officers with every new lie he tells,” she told local NBC affiliate WCAU.

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Philadelphia's police union president ripped the city's district attorney for "failing to hold protesters accountable"...
Philadelphia, police, protest
Thursday, 23 July 2020 04:52 PM
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