The Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted Wednesday to impeach Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.
The Republican-run House impeached Krasner, a Democrat, by a vote of 107-85, mostly along party lines. Krasner was impeached for his policies’ contribution to “record levels of violent crime” in the City of Philadelphia, according to The Wall Street Journal. A trial will be held in the State Senate, also led by the Republican party. The District Attorney's office did not respond to a request for comment.
State Rep. Martina White, a Philadelphia-area Republican, led the charges for articles of impeachment against Krasner, and spoke before Wednesday’s vote in advocacy of his impeachment.
“His dereliction of duty and despicable behavior is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated,” White said. “The legislature has a duty and the only authority to act when a public official refuses to perform their duties and puts the public in danger.”
After his impeachment, Krasner wrote in a tweet that "Philadelphians' votes, and Philadelphia, voters should not be erased.”
“History will harshly judge this anti-democratic authoritarian effort to erase Philly's votes — votes by Black, brown, and broke people in Philadelphia,” Krasner wrote, adding that voters will “have the last word.”
Krasner, a civil rights attorney, was first elected to the District Attorney post in November 2017. At the time, Krasner had no previous experience as a prosecutor. Four years later, Krasner was overwhelmingly re-elected in November 2021 with nearly 72% of the vote, trouncing his Republican opponent during the general election.
Before his re-election last year, both Penn Democrats and Penn Justice Democrats — which has since rebranded as Penn Young Democratic Socialists of America — endorsed Krasner during Pennsylvania's 2021 Democratic primary election.
The impeachment due to Krasner’s lenient crime policies comes one month after Penn’s Division of Public Safety released its 2022 Annual Security & Fire Safety Report, which reported increases in aggravated assaults and vehicle theft.
The number of aggravated assaults on campus increased from 17 in 2020 to 32 in 2022. Motor vehicle thefts have tripled since 2019, and rape cases increased from two in 2019 to 10 in 2021, according to the report.
In addition to statistically rising crime in the University Cityarea, students have expressed concerns in local convenience stores following two Wawa store location closures in Center City.
“Last week, I was in Wawa around 3 a.m. when someone entered and began yelling at four undergraduate students while brandishing a gun. The cops had to come,” Wharton junior Bryan Yan recently told The Daily Pennsylvanian.
UPennAlerts concerning robberies have also spiked in recent years, with 12 alerts in 2020 and 2021, up from eight in 2019. There have been 13 UPennAlerts since the start of the 2022-23 academic year, 11 of which were related to robberies, burglaries, or thefts.
Senior reporter Imran Siddiqui contributed reporting.